Book Bracket – Best Books of the Decade

With March Madness cancelled and everyone quarantined at home there isn’t a better time to vote on your favorite book of the past decade! For the next three weeks we will be hosting two separate polls, on both our Twitter and Facebook, that pit two of the most popular books of the past decade against each other. You’ll notice a variety of genres, ranging from young adult fiction, historical non-fiction, memoirs, and fantasy!

Some of our favorite books include:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Divergent by Veronica Roth

And many, many more!

Let us know what you enjoyed! Keep tabs on our Facebook and Twitter in the coming weeks (first poll on April 6th!) to keep up to date on the bracket and let us know your thoughts and opinions!

 

 

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April is Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month, and since we are all stuck inside for now, there couldn’t be a better time to dive into some verse. If you don’t happen to have any poetry books wherever you’re at, or you’re just looking to read something new, check out these five e-books available through the library.  

  1. Ross Gay’s poems are exactly what we all need right now: thoughtful, playful, and full of moments that gracefully hold the joys and pains of life simultaneously. Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude is a collection on themes of loss. Cover art of poetry collection titled: Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay
  2. bell hooks is an activist and writer from Kentucky whose work explores sexism and racism. Check out Appalachian Elegy, a collection of poems about her home state.cover art of Appalachian Elegy by bell hooks
  3. Jack Kerouac, best known for his novel On the Road, was also a successful poet, even inventing his own form of haiku. Readings by Jack Kerouac on the Beat Generation is a spoken word album recorded in 1959.cover art of Readings by Jack Kerouac on the Beat Generation by Jack Kerouac
  4. Sarah Blake infuses her poetry with pop culture references and insights into her own experiences in Mr. West, a portrait of Kanye West.cover art of Mr. West by Sarah Blake
  5. Nate Marshall is a poet from the South Side of Chicago. In Wild Hundreds, Marshall composes a love song to his city.cover art of Wild Hundreds by Nate Marshall

Bonus: Homopup: Queer Dog Poetry. Speaks for itself, really.cover art of Homopup by Gerry Pearlberg

To find more e-books available through the library, check out the Library Catalog. Be sure to narrow your search results by format and choose “electronic.” If you have questions about accessing these, or other, electronic resources, feel free to Ask a Librarian!

Information from poetryfoundation.org.

Written by: Izzy

Edited by: Lauren

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Handwashing Entertainment

At times like these, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reminds us that handwashing is critical! In order to keep yourself and your household safe we know that we should be washing our hands frequently and especially any time we have left the house, touched something that is new like a delivery or groceries, or are handling/preparing food. However, did you know that to be truly effective when washing your hands, you should be scrubbing for a full 20 seconds? This information was just as true before COVID-19, but is critical now as we all seek to stay safe and be responsible in preventing the spread of this virus.

So exactly how long is 20 seconds? And are you expected to stand at the sink counting multiple times a day when you’re already bored and restless with cabin fever? Never fear! We have curated a list of monologues, songs, quotes, and movie scenes to get you through handwashing for days! Our goal? For twenty seconds to have never been more entertaining and for your hands to have never been cleaner. So turn the water on, lather up, and repeat after me…

Monologues/Movie and TV scenes:

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope | Princess Leia hologram speech

“General Kenobi. Years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars. Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire. I regret that I am unable to present my father’s request to you in person, but my ship has fallen under attack, and I’m afraid my mission to bring you to Alderaan has failed. I have placed information vital to the survival of the Rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit. My father will know how to retrieve it. You must see this droid safely delivered to him on Alderaan. This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”

Star Trek | 1966 introduction sequence

“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before!”

Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5 Scene 1 | Lady MacBeth’s speech

“Out, damned spot! Out, I say!—One, two. Why, then, ’tis time to do ’t. Hell is murky!—Fie, my lord, fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?—Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.”

Pride and Prejudice | Darcy’s first proposal to Elizabeth

“In vain I have struggled, it will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you. In declaring myself that I am fully aware that I will be going expressly against the wishes of my family, my friends, and I hardly need add, my own better judgement.”

The Office | Bird funeral eulogy 

Bird Funeral - The Office GIF | Gfycat

“What do we know about this bird? You might think, ‘Not much, it’s just a bird.’ But we do know some things. We know that it was a local bird. Maybe it’s that same bird that surprised Oscar that one morning with a special present from above. And we know how he died, flying into the glass doors. But you know what, I don’t think he was being stupid. I think he just really, really wanted to come inside our building to spread his cheer and lift our spirits with a song.”

Songs and Lyrics:

Parks and Recreation | “5000 Candles in the Wind”

“Up in horsey heaven, here’s the thing

You trade your legs for angels wings

And once we’ve all said good-bye

You take a running leap and you learn to flyyyyy

Bye bye Li’l Sebastian

Miss you in the saddest fashion

Bye bye Li’l Sebastian

You’re 5000 candles in the wind.”

Toto | “Africa”

“It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you

There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do

I bless the rains down in Africa

Gonna take some time to do the things we never had”

Or, try these handwashing lyrics:

“It’s gonna take a lot to wash germs away from you

It’s something that a fifth of a hundred seconds could do

I bless the sink down in my bathroom

Gonna take some time to do the things we need to do (ooh, ooh)”

My Chemical Romance | “Welcome to the Black Parade”

“When I was a young boy

My father took me into the city

To see a marching band

He said, “Son, when you grow up

Would you be the savior of the broken

The beaten, and the damned?”

Lizzo | “Truth Hurts”

“Why men great ’til they gotta be great?

Don’t text me, tell it straight to my face

Best friend sat me down in the salon chair

Shampoo press, get you out of my hair

Fresh photos with the bomb lighting

New man on the Minnesota Vikings

Truth hurts, needed something more exciting

Bom bom bi dom bi dum bum bay”

The Killers | “Mr. Brightside”

“Jealousy, turning saints into the sea

Swimming through sick lullabies

Choking on your alibis

But it’s just the price I pay

Destiny is calling me

Open up my eager eyes

‘Cause I’m Mr. Brightside”

The Lion King | “I Just Can’t Wait to be King”

“I’m gonna be a mighty king

So enemies beware

Well, I’ve never seen a king or beast

With quite so little hair

I’m gonna be the main event

Like no king was before

I’m brushing up on looking down

I’m working on my roar

Thus far, a rather uninspiring thing

Oh, I just can’t wait to be king”

Hamilton | “My Shot”

“I am not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot

I’ma get a scholarship to King’s College

I prob’ly shouldn’t brag, but dag, I amaze and astonish

The problem is I got a lot of brains but no polish

I gotta holler just to be heard

With every word, I drop knowledge”

 

Well, that’s all for now folks. We hope you were able to find some handwashing inspiration and entertainment!

P.S. Another quick tip from the UGL: consider tracking down that hand lotion your aunt got you for Christmas three years ago that you never opened. Frequent handwashing and hand sanitizer use can be damaging to your skin, so keep that skin hydrated!

 

Written by Jayde

Edited by Nicole

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Leap Year 2020

Have you ever wondered why we have a Leap Year? Who created this extra day?  Why February and not some other month like April or June, which have thirty days and can easily take an extra day for 31  

Leap Year is a relic of ancient astronomy. According to Stephen Wood of History.com, ancient calendars often had a 23-day intercalary or “extra month.” These extra months were based on the position of the moon as well as the Earth’s location relative to the sun. Originally, calendars were designed to track the Earth’s movement around the sun and ancient astronomers were extremely good at their jobs.  

The Earth revolves around the sun 365.24 days and yet, a traditional calendar only accounts for 365 days. Therefore, there is a few hours gap each year as a result of the 365-day calendar.  As a result, ancient astronomers created the intercalary to deal with this.  


However, you may be asking, “Why February?” Julius Ceasar, that’s why. The father of the modern calendar decided the perfect calendar was created by the Egyptians. Egyptian solar calendars had 365 days and included one extra month. February was chosen to include the leap day as it was already a month where Romans added extra days.   

Despite this attempt to account for the extra hours it takes for the Earth to revolve around the sun each year, the Julian (named after Ceasar) calendar, over the course of a century, made the equinoxes and solstices shift 24 days every century. As a result, Pope Gregory XIII expressed dismay that Easter was getting further and further away from the Spring Equinox.  

Thus, the Gregorian calendar (the calendar that is used to this day) was born. Gregory kept Leap years and stipulated that they occur every four years and on years that begin a new century, in order to have a Leap day, the year must be divisible by 400. If the year is divisible by 100 evenly, it is not a Leap Year.  In other words, if you lived at the start of the 20th century (1900), there was no Leap Year, but the year 2000 was divisible by 400 and thus, had a Leap Year.   

Leap years are full of lore. Most famously, Leap Year is associated with Bachelor’s Day, as it is known in some countries. Bachelor’s Day is a day where women propose to men. This tradition is most identified with Ireland, St. Bridget, and St. Patrick (yes, that St. Patrick).

But if Ireland is an expense that you can ill-afford, plan a trip in four years to Anthony, Texas. Anthony is the self-proclaimed “Leap Year Capital of the World” with a festival that begins before the end of February and goes to March. This year, it is scheduled for February 28th until March 2nd, 2020. Additionally, Leap Year can also be a time of great superstitions around livestock and weddings. According to Breakingnews.ie, many countries have traditions that suggest Leap Year is a day that is inauspicious, full of death.  

Whatever your stance on Leap Year, it’s undeniably an important tradition that keeps our calendars aligned with the stars. Makes you wonder how “30 Days Hath September” would have been if a different month had been chosen. If you are looking for funny sitcom takes on Leap Year, June Thomas of Slate.com has some suggestions and Leap Year (2010) and The Proposal (2009) are always great watching 

Written by Simone

Edited by Ryan

Works Referenced 

Elder, Lane. “Why 2020 is a Leap Year.” AJC.com, Atlanta Journal 

Constitution, https://www.ajc.com/news/why-2020-leap-year/RSms7VzmjoNP2C1CLrxp5I/. 

Thomas, June. “Which Sitcom did Leap Day Best?” Slate.com, 2012.03.01.   http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2012/03/01/leap_day_sitcom_episodes_which_is_the_best_one_.html  

Unknown. “9 Leap Year Traditions –and Superstitions- from Around the World.” Breakingnews.ie, 

Landmark Digital. https://www.breakingnews.ie/discover/9-leap-year-traditions-and-superstitions-from-around-the-world-723031.html. Accessed 26/2/2020. 

Wood, Stephen. “5 Things You May Not Know About Leap Day.” History.com, The History 

Channel, https://www.history.com/news/why-do-we-have-leap-year.

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Destress Fest Fall 2019

Fall break is arguably one of the best weeks of the year: you get absolutely stuffed with a delicious Thanksgiving meal, you finally get some sleep, and when you’re not eating or sleeping, there’s usually a chance to see hometown friends!

However, fall break is but a cruel tease. Just when you’ve gotten comfortable with waking up at noon, your dreams are shattered by the impending return to campus after a far too brief hiatus.

Screenshot of tweet that reads, "going to school in between thanksgiving and christmas break feels like the last lap in mario kart where the music is all fast and gets really stressfull"

Returning from fall break is worse than all other breaks because the end of the semester is so close. And we all know what that means… finals.

gif of Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, looking up from the ground somberly as she is chosen as tribute

Finals week comes with stress, long nights, gallons of coffee, and inevitable tears.screenshot of tweet that reads, "I've already cried 5 times in the past 14 hours and I haven't even had to say goodbye to anyone yet #FinalsWeek"

But never fear, the UGL is here to help relieve finals anxiety with Destress Fest! Our amazing reading day event!

Come to the UGL to study any time between 12:00 pm and 10:00 pm on Reading Day, Thursday, December 12th, and you’ll have the opportunity to take part in lots of fun and relaxing activities during your study breaks!gif of a scene from A Night at the Roxbury, where Doug (played Chris Kattan) comforts Steve (played by Will Farrell), and says,

Here’s the full schedule:

Schedule of Destress Fest 2019 hosted by the UGL

Looking forward to seeing you during Destress Fest 2019!!

Written by Annabel

Edited by Lauren

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Fall Break in Champaign-Urbana

It’s a beautiful time of year around Champaign-Urbana! If you’re lucky enough to be around the C-U for Fall Break, there are plenty of exciting events for everyone to enjoy. From participating in holiday festivities to cheering on the Illini, make sure to check out these events happening around town next week:

The Festival of Trees

Join the Junior League of Champaign-Urbana for the 2019 Festival of Trees on November 22nd-24th at the Hilton Garden Inn Champaign. Over 100 trees and wreaths will be on display, so you can get into the holiday spirit. Purchase raffle tickets and enter for a chance to win all of the vignettes on display or place a silent bid on select trees and packages. Special events include the Family Winter Ball on Friday and breakfast with Mrs. Clause and Santa on Saturday.Image result for buddy the elf gif

 

Holiday Card Photo Op at the Virginia Theater

The Virginia’s beautifully decorated Mezzanine Lobby is opening on Monday, November 25 for photographs this holiday season, free of charge! Bring your camera or arrange to have a professional photographer meet you at the theatre to capture a special memory for the whole family. Drop by or call the box office (217-356-9063) to reserve your 15-minute slot (space is limited).Related image

 

Parkland Jazz Combo Concert

The Parkland Jazz Combo will be performing Monday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. at Parkland College Theatre’s Second Stage. Led by Kevin Hart, the ensemble will perform selections from artists such as Frank Foster, Pat Metheny, Charlie Christian, Paul Desmond, and Jeff Lorber. This concert is free and open to the public.Image result for the aristocats orchestra gif

 

Fighting Illini Men’s Basketball

Stop by the State Farm Stadium to cheer on a promising Illini Men’s Basketball team, as they play against the Lindenwood University Lions! Join the Orange Krush on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. I-L-L!

Image result for illini basketball gif

 

Fighting Illini Volleyball

Check out the Fighting Illini Volleyball team versus the Northwestern Wildcats before they head to the NCAA Tournament. You can watch them play in Huff Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 7:30 p.m. Go Illini!

Image result for illini volleyball gif

 

Pathways of Light

Take a little trip off-campus and come out to the Aikman Wildlife Adventure Park in Arcola, IL with your family to enjoy a stroll through a lovely pathway of Christmas lights. Start your Christmas shopping early by purchasing gift certificates for your family or friends, and experience one of their animal adventures. A plus: Iced sugar cookies and hot cider will be available! The Pathways of Light will be open during Fall Break on Nov. 29 and Nov. 30, starting at 5:00 p.m.Image result for christmas lights gif

 

Written by: Morgan

Edited by: Nicole

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Movember Reads

Happy Movember!

Movember is an annual event (involving mustaches and beards, of course) meant to raise awareness of men’s health issues. Movember aims to increase early cancer detection, battle the struggles of mental health and suicide, and reduce the number of preventable deaths. Check out their website here: https://us.movember.com/.

In honor of Movember, let’s take a look at some books in the UGL’s collection that involve everything facial hair!

One thousand beards: A cultural history of facial hair

A history of facial hair that documents its ebs and flows in our culture! The book showcases different styles, has information on self care, and shows pictures of famous beards!

Mustache shenanigans: Making Super Troopers and other adventures in comedy

A history and description of Jay Chandrasekhar’s experiences and perspectives when creating Super Troopers (1 and 2). Part humorous memoir and part film study!

Hair: Styling, culture and fashion

An exploration of hair styling, culture, and fashion. The book offers an examination of the social importance of hair, wherever it grows, and examines the different self-expressions and social identities that form from the expression of our hair!

Plucked: A history of hair removal

Examines the different forms of hair removal throughout the decades, from homemade lye depilatories to diode lasers and prescription pharmaceuticals. The book questions why we remove hair (an astonishingly American belief), and examines the unsettling lengths that Americans will go to when removing hair!

Check out these glorious beards! Some of the UGL’s favorites:

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Spooky Reads for Halloween

Happy Halloween, Illini! Fall is in full swing and with midterms winding down, we could all use a little spooky fun. Check out some of our horror books to get you in the Halloween spirit!

Cat in jack-o-lantern

Creepy Comics and Ghoulish Graphic Novels

My Favorite Thing is Monsters (Book Cover)
My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris

  • 1960s in Chicago
  • Fictional graphic diary of 10-year-old Karen Reyes as she tries to solve the murder of her neighbor, a Holocaust survivor

The Walking Dead (comic/graphic novel cover)
The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman

  • Follow a few human survivors as they struggle through the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse!
  • Read the graphic novel series behind the famous TV show

Chilling Classics and Spooky Short Stories

The Stories of Ray Bradbury (book cover)
The Stories of Ray Bradbury

  • Short stories from a science fiction icon
  • Includes spooky classics such as “The Coffin,” “Skeleton,” “The Haunting of the New,” and “The October Game”

Pet Sematary (book cover)
Pet Sematary by Stephen King

  • Horror, animals, and spooky woods – what more could we ask for?
  • See the recent movie adaption!

The best of the best horror of the year (book cover)
The Best of the Best Horror of the Year: 10 Years of Essential Short Horror Fiction

  • Choose from 28 of the best and most horrific short stories from the last decade!
  • Edited and compiled by Ellen Datlow, an award-winning horror anthologist

Haunted and Spook-tacular Nonfiction

Reel Terror: the scary, bloody, gory, hundred-year history of classic horror films (book cover)
Reel Terror: the scary, bloody, gory, hundred-year history of classics horror films by David Konow

  • Featuring on-set stories and history of the horror movie genre, from blockbusters to cult classics
  • Great companion for your Halloween movie marathon!

Ghostland: an American History in Haunted Places (book cover)
Ghostland: an American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

  • Explore all of the haunted locations across the country, with the facts behind haunted places and how the stories have changed as they’ve spread and become legends

For more great book recommendations, check out our genre fiction binders on the Lower Level at the UGL!

Dancing man with a pumpkin head

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Halloween Gaming Event

Have you caught the smell of pumpkin spice lattes in the air? That’s right, fall is back! This year the UGL is celebrating fall with a spooky, Halloween-themed Game Night Thursday, October 17th from 7pm -10pm. Come as you are or grab a costume to join in the Halloween fun. Here are some of the Horror-themed games we’ll be featuring:
 
Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game

Join us for this chilling roleplaying adventure! One of our experienced Game Masters will guide players through a quest in a world based on the writing of the master of horror himself, H.P. Lovecraft. Solve a mystery while struggling to maintain your sanity and survive despite the horror and danger that surrounds you.
Betrayal at House on the Hill

From aliens to ghosts, to voodoo dolls and beyond, you never know what you might find in this ever-changing haunted mansion. Come explore the House on the Hill, if you dare, and bring along 2-5 of your closest friends. Try to maintain your sanity as you encounter challenges and hauntings in each new room of the house. But beware…one of you is not who they claim to be and there will be a betrayal at the House on the Hill before the night ends!
One Night: Ultimate Werewolf

In this quick and easy game each player takes on the role of a villager…some innocent, some not so innocent. The villagers race to find the identity of the werewolves hiding among them, before they sink their teeth into the whole town. Each morning the villagers wake to find the werewolves may have claimed another victim. Will you survive the night?
Other games we’ll have available throughout the night include Ghost Stories, Castle Ravenloft, and Mysterium. Feel free to bring your own haunted horror games from home, or grab one of the games from the UGL’s collection. Will you be brave enough to join us for the fright? We hope to see you there!
Written by: Jayde
Edited by: Lauren
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50th Anniversary Student Art Gallery

New art exhibition alert! In honor of the Undergraduate Library’s 50th Anniversary, the UGL Art Gallery has two new displays to celebrate. Come check them out and celebrate with us!

For the first display, you’ll find the submissions to the Undergraduate Graphic Design Competition. Each of these unique designs captures the spirit and mission of the UGL. You won’t want to miss this impressive display of student artwork!

 

In the second display, you’ll explore the UGL Through the Decades. Learn about the history of the Undergraduate Library while browsing photographs of the UGL over the years. You’ll see the UGL transform from a space on the first floor of the Main Library into the thriving library we know today. The gallery takes viewers through the “Early Beginnings of the UGL,” to “1969: Undergraduate Library Established,” and concludes with the “UGL Today.” Come learn more about this unique building and how it came to be.

We hope to see you there! And be sure to follow us on social media to learn more about events celebrating the UGL’s 50th.

Thank you to the students who submitted to our graphic design competition, and to the University Archives for providing historical images of the Undergraduate Library.

Written by: Izzy

Edited by: Ryan & Lauren

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