They’re Back! Therapy Pets at the Library

Summer is almost here! Take a break from studying for finals and stressing about deadlines to play with therapy pets at the library! This year’s group of therapy pets is cute, cuddly, and ready to play. If you didn’t catch them at Grainger last week, therapy pets will be waiting to cuddle at ACES and the UGL on the following dates:

Monday, May 9th at ACES from 2-4 PM: Atlas, Maisey, and Wyatt the cat can’t wait to have their tummies rubbed.

Tuesday, May 10th at the UGL from 2-4 PM: Atlas and Beowoof are excited to see everyone!

Beowoof

Come see Beowoof!

Beowoof is a fashionable Saint Bernard. Beowoof loves to make people happy. The only thing bigger than his paws is his heart! He has a contagious smile and a way of making even your worst day better by simply being in the room. His favorite trick is to give high-fives and his favorite leisure activity is sleeping (or maybe eating homemade peanut butter dog cookies).

Atlas

Atlas Therapy Dog

Atlas is a 7 year old Rottweiler that was adopted from South Suburban Humane Society when he was a year old. He especially loves hanging out with kids at libraries and schools, helping them read. His favorite toy is his Kong and his favorite spot to be scratched is his “bow tie” on his chest.

Maisey

Come see Maisey!

Maisey is a 6 yr old Australian Shepherd-Retriever Mix that was adopted back in 2011 from a local shelter in Muncie, Indiana. Maisey participates in various therapy dog events, including visits to the Carle Foundation Hospital, kids read to dogs programs at local libraries and a number of school groups. When not doing therapy dog work, Maisey enjoys taking long walks, chasing squirrels, and squeaking her plush hedgehog toy.

Wyatt

Come see Wyatt!

Wyatt is six years old and loves to be pet and complimented. Wyatt is a very social cat and is a mix of Siamese, Maine Coon, and Persian. When Wyatt is not “on the job,” he spends his time as a typical cat – napping, playing and eating.

Have any questions about therapy pets? Want to express how excited you are to meet these animals? Tweet at us (@askundergrad) or contact us on Facebook (Undergraduate Library at Illinois)!

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Reader’s & Watcher’s Advisory: So, You’re Graduating Soon?

Whether you’re sappy or psyched for commencement this year, we believe in you! No matter how you feel about graduating, we know you’ve got some feelings. We’ve got some materials for you to read and watch to deal with those feelings.

 

Commencement Advisory

What commencement story should you read or watch next? Check the flowchart to find out!

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

Book: The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

In this commencement story by Pulitzer Prize winner Jeffrey Eugenides, nothing is easy: Madeleine is unsure of her life goals except for that she loves Leonard, who experiences emotional rollercoasters she is unable to fully grasp. Mitchell, Madeleine’s college friend, pines for her while examining philosophical life questions during his travels abroad. But even for graduates of Brown University in the 1980s, the best laid plots may fail. This novel examines love in an unexpected (and not always happy) way and is not for a reader who loves a perfect ending.

 

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” by Lena Dunham

Book: Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” by Lena Dunham

If you ever feel like you’re awkwardly fumbling through life, you are not alone. Lena Dunham’s smash hit Not That Kind of Girl, similar to her tv show Girls, is a silly, but simultaneously gravely serious, memoir of what it feels like to not always know what you are doing. Although Dunham details her life from childhood to a few years after her college graduation, she captures the spirit of many young graduates embarking on their own self-discoveries.

 

Gilmore Girls Season 7

Gilmore Girls Season 7

Television Show: Gilmore Girls Season 7

Re-watching all of Gilmore Girls with your roommate during your final semester of college?!? Well, hurry up and get to the last season (even though it suffers because the creator was gone). Rory is starting (and finishing) her last year at Yale, all the while still in a long distance with Logan (obviously the greatest boyfriend she’s ever had), and Lorelai is doing what Lorelai does best…making questionable decisions. Will Lorelai and Luke end up together? Will Rory have the job of her dreams? What were the four words Amy Sherman-Palladino (the show’s creator) wanted to use for the ending of Gilmore Girls? What happens next? Luckily, you will find out! Sherman-Palladino and the rest of the Stars Hollow family are coming back for a series of four 90 minute Netflix episodes, due to be released in the near future.

 

The Graduate

The Graduate – Image from Amazon

Movie: The Graduate

In what is regarded as one of the best movies of all time by the American Film Institute, Dustin Hoffman stars as Benjamin Braddock, a recent college graduate, in this 1967 comedy-drama. Braddock has decided to spend the summer after he graduates lounging by the pool, ignoring any suggestion from the adults in his life about what to do after graduation. After engaging in an affair with one of his parent’s friends, Benjamin’s life takes a wild turn. This movie is based off the 1963 novel of the same name, that has also been adapted into a Broadway play. Will Benjamin figure out what he wants to do with his life? Will he get the girl of his dreams? Spend some time and find out, by watching the movie that Champaign native and University of Illinois favorite, Roger Ebert, called “funniest American comedy of [its] year.”

Did we miss anything? What are some of your favorite podcasts right now? Let us know on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.

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November Music Events

In honor of American Music Month, this week’s blog is dedicated to musical events around campus. Who doesn’t love going to a concert and experiencing some new music? Champaign-Urbana consistently draws a wide variety of acts across many genres, so there’s probably something that you’d enjoy seeing. Grab a friend, get some food, and then go experience some new music. It’s the recipe for a perfect night.

Photo courtesy of The Canopy Club

Photo courtesy of The Canopy Club

GWAR at The Canopy Club – November 2 at 8:00pm

If you don’t know who/what GWAR is, you should probably go to this show. The self described “masters of Earth”, GWAR have been taking over our puny planet for around 30 years with their blend of heavy metal and insane stage antics; it’s nearly impossible to leave a GWAR show without being covered in fake blood and feeling AWESOME for it. American music has always been subversive and shocking and it pretty much does not get more subversive or shocking than GWAR.

http://canopyclub.com/events/gwar-3/

Photo Courtesy of Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

Photo Courtesy of Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

“I was a bum once myself.” at Smith Memorial Hall – November 10 at 7:30pm

This unique performance is unlike any other on this list and is sure not to be missed by those of you interested in the vast scope of American music. Presented by the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, this performance features Chris Rainier performing guitar pieces by the famous microtonal composer and instrument builder Harry Partch. Pieces arranged for voice and arranged guitar that detail the rough lives of 1930’s hobos will be the focus of the evening and Rainier will be performing these pieces on a guitar specially constructed for this event. Admission is free, so catch this one-of-a-kind performance for a deep look into American history.

http://archives.library.illinois.edu/sousa/upcoming-concerts-lectures/

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Illinois Modern Ensemble at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts – November 17 at 7:30pm

Rock music may not be for everyone, so this performance by UIUC’s Modern Ensemble will be a delight to those searching for something a bit different. The ensemble performs regularly and highlights pieces by famous American composers such as Steve Reich, the legendary American minimalist, and Augusta Read Thomas, the masterful American experimental composer, as well as original pieces by students and faculty. This performance is only $4 for students and will force you to reach beyond your expectations of what music truly can be and connect you with a the deep experimentation found in so much modern American music.

http://krannertcenter.com/performance.aspx?id=201572110381242012817410782

Photo courtesy of Mike 'N Molly's

Photo courtesy of Mike ‘N Molly’s

Solo Showcase at Mike ‘N Molly’s – November 19 at 8pm

The origins of the punk rock movement of the 1970s and beyond are as much of an argument as any, but it is safe to say that punk has been a huge movement in America since the first power chord was struck. Innovation runs rampant through the genre and this Solo Showcase at local watering hole and popular local music venue Mike ‘N Molly’s will certainly show off the flexibility and innovation that can be found in this ever-expanding genre. Headlining is local visual artist Kamila Glowacki whose band Kowabunga! Kid has toured across this country and play an exceptionally surfy brand of punk. Other performers include members of local favorites Roberta Sparrow and Street Justice, so head over to downtown Champaign for a unique night of passionate performance.

http://mikenmollys.com/shows/76/solo-showcase

Photo courtesy of Art Theater

Photo courtesy of Art Theater

Marathon Guitarkestra at The Art Theater Co-op – November 21 at 10pm

Living in such a creative and open-minded city has many benefits for all sorts of artists- Marathon is one of the best examples of a group of artists taking advantage of the openness of this area. Marathon creates drone music in the occasional form of a “guitarkestra”- an ensemble of 6 guitarists, 2 drummers, and a bassist all working to create a massive amount of pleasurable and quite solid feeling sound. This performance is a rare one and not to be missed for several reasons: The Art Theater typically does not have musical performers and is an incredible space for this occasion, this performance is in honor of the release of Marathon’s new LP “Sanctuary”, and the Media Commons’ own Jake Metz will be performing live video manipulation for the performance. American music takes so many forms and is constantly reinterpreting itself and this is probably the closest one could get to truly feeling that slow, intense, passionate change.

https://www.facebook.com/events/979024715474150/

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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.
http://curtisorchard.com/

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.
http://www.arttheater.coop/rocky-horror-picture-show/

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.
http://www.reindeerranch.com/maze.html

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.
http://krannertcenter.com/performance.aspx?id=20157211038494912817410782

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.
http://freakshowillinois.com/

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

http://www.arttheater.coop/road-house/

 

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.

http://www.ellnoraguitarfestival.com/default.htm

 

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.

http://mikenmollys.com/shows/30/church-booty

 

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.

http://www.buyfreshbuylocalcentralillinois.org/#!local-flavors-champaign-urbana/cxgx

 

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.

http://www.thepygmalionfestival.com/

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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.
https://www.facebook.com/events/505891186233934/

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.
http://thevirginia.org/event/pens-to-lens/

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.
http://champaignparks.com/taste-of-champaign-urbana/

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.
https://www.facebook.com/events/867821679958552/

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.
http://www.arttheater.coop/pee-wees-big-adventure/

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.).
http://urbanasweetcornfestival.com/

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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July Events

Summer. Photo Courtesy of Mikey A-Tucker via Flickr Media Commons

Summer. Photo Courtesy of Mikey A-Tucker via Flickr Media Commons

You may be beat from all the American fun of last weekend, but our area has a lot to offer for the rest of the month. If you need something more to do than a classic stroll through downtown Urbana, a nightcap over in downtown Champaign, or a leisurely picnic at one of the many parks in the area, this post will hopefully give you some ideas.

Champaign Music Festival. Photo Courtesy of Champaign Park District

Champaign Music Festival. Photo Courtesy of Champaign Park District

Champaign Music Festival– July 11 from 6-12

Downtown Champaign has seen its fair share of music this summer, be it from the beer garden shows at Mike N’ Molly’s or the smooth tunes featured during June’s Blues, Brews, and BBQ Festival, and more nationally recognized acts are heading to the area for this year’s Champaign Music Festival. Late 90’s/early 00’s giants Smash Mouth will be strutting their stuff as well as 90’s alternative rockers Toad the Wet Sprocket. Admission is free, so there’s no reason to miss this offering of throwback hits.

https://champaignparks.com/champaign-music-festival/nggallery/page/1

The Fantasticks. Photo Courtesy of Bah Humbug Productions

The Fantasticks. Photo Courtesy of Bah Humbug Productions

The Fantasticks from Bah Humbug Productions – July 10-12 & 15-19

The Fantasticks is America’s longest running theater piece, remaining in production from 1960 onward. The performance is being put on by Bah Humbug Productions, a local community theater group that puts on various productions throughout the year. Parkland College’s New Second Stage will host the two weekend run of the show.

http://www.bahhumbug.biz/

Candy Foster and Shades of Blue. Photo Courtesy of Allerton Park and Retreat Center

Candy Foster and Shades of Blue. Photo Courtesy of Allerton Park and Retreat Center

Allerton Park Concert Series: Allerton Blues – July 10 from 6:30 – 9

Allerton Park is ridiculously beautiful. That’s a fact. Blues music can often be beautiful. Put the two together, and you’ve got a great night planned. Candy Foster and Shades of Blue provide the blues and with Candy’s smooth R&B stylings and Shades of Blue’s extensive resume (they’ve played with artists like The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, and Aretha Franklin), this will be a fantastic night for all.

http://allerton.illinois.edu/event/allerton-blues/

The 92s. Photo Courtesy of The 92s

The 92s. Photo Courtesy of The 92s

The 92’s at Mike N Molly’s – July 4 at 11:05

There’s a lot of really great music being made in Champaign and acts regularly find themselves breaking out to larger audiences after cutting their teeth at local venues like Mike N Molly’s. One of the most promising bands to come out of CU in recent years is The 92’s, and the boys are coming back to town after their move to Chicago. Their infectious songs will truly move you, so head over to Mike N Molly’s for a fantastic Thursday night bill with locals Nick and the Nailed Its and Tried and True opening.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1655577277998698/

Champaign County Fair. Photo Courtesy of Champaign County Fair Association

Champaign County Fair. Photo Courtesy of Champaign County Fair Association

Champaign County Fair– July 24 – August 1

County fairs are a staple of the American Summer, so head to the County Fairgrounds to catch the Champaign County Fair. The Fair runs for 9 days and there’s a Demolition Derby, a rodeo, motorcycle race, and a Carnival every day, so there’s no reason to miss out on the fun.

http://www.champaigncountyfair.cc/index.html

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Independence Weekend Events

Independence Day is this weekend and, so long as aliens don’t invade the planet like in the ’96 classic film, CU and Champaign County is going to be the place to be for the holiday weekend. Whether you like to bright lights of fireworks or you want to indulge in some great local eats, we think we’ve found the perfect options for your July 4th weekend.

Photo courtesy of Alice via Flickr Media Commons

Photo courtesy of Alice via Flickr Media Commons

Local Flavors Dinner at Milo’s Restaurant– July 2
Presented by the Illinois Steward Alliance, the Local Flavors series gives you the chance to try some of Central Illinois’ finest restaurants as they serve seasonal items using strictly local ingredients from local farmers. Milo’s is a self-described “Nuevo American” restaurant that will prepare an amazing dinner to kick off your weekend.
http://www.ilstewards.org/local-flavors-2015/

Photo courtesy of Chloe via Flickr Media Commons

Photo courtesy of Chloe via Flickr Media Commons

Folk and Roots Friday Concert – July 3 from 12-1 pm
After having dinner at Milo’s, pack a healthy lunch and head over to the Lake House in Crystal Lake Park for a lunchtime concert, presented by Urbana Parks District. The concert is free and there’s a raffle as well as specials on boating if you have the day off and can bring the family!
http://www.urbanaparks.org/events/folk-and-roots-friday-concert-Jul/

Photo courtesy of USAG- Humphreys via Flickr Media Commons

Photo courtesy of USAG- Humphreys via Flickr Media Commons

Rantoul Freedom Celebration– July 3 from 5:30 – 11 pm
After you enjoy the music and lunch, the Rantoul National Aviation Center will be the place to be for an early celebration of our country’s independence. There’s a little bit of everything going on, including a 5K, a museum open house, paintball, and many other exciting events. A lot of fun to be had for only a half an hour drive north.
http://www.chambanamoms.com/events/rantoul-freedom-celebration/

Photo courtesy of Matthew via Flickr Media Commons

Photo courtesy of Matthew via Flickr Media Commons

Champaign County Freedom Celebration Parade – July 4 at 11:05 am
After sleeping in to celebrate your own independence and after a fun night in Rantoul, head down to Lincoln or Florida Ave to catch the most American of celebrations: the parade. Expect many of the traditional parade fare such as marching bands, performers of various kinds, and veterans and firemen. Slap on some sunblock and spend your 4th outside in the sun.
http://www.july4th.net/parade

Photo courtesy of bayasaa via Flickr Media Commons

Photo courtesy of bayasaa via Flickr Media Commons

Champaign County Freedom Celebration Evening Program – July 4 at 7 pm
After the parade, head over to Kirby Ave between First and Oak Streets for the entertainment and fireworks display. Bounce houses and inflatables will be set up for the kids, music for everyone, and the grand fireworks presentation from Melrose Pyrotechnics. The perfect end to a perfect weekend.
http://www.july4th.net/evening-program

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