Secret Societies: Revealed!

Secret societies have flourished for many centuries in many different cultures. Though some, like the Shriners, perform semi-public activities, not much is known about what goes on within them – that’s why they’re called ‘secret.’ This lack of knowledge has led the mysterious groups to captivate our cultural imagination, as unexplained coincidences and nefarious plots are attributed to them.

If you’ve watched The Good Shepherd, National Treasure, or read about the V.F.D in A Series of Unfortunate Events, then you’ve already been exposed to how fun and engrossing the idea of a sinister secret society can be. To help you find more things to enjoy in that vein, here’s a round-up of books that feature shadowy groups, conspiracy theories, and men in fezzes.

The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson

If you want to get the most bang for your buck, conspiracy-wise, start with the Illuminatus! trilogy. Every weirdo theory out there is covered, and connected to the most secretest secret society of all – the Illuminati. There are lots of symbolic eyeballs, and you’ll be eyeballing your surroundings after reading it, especially that buck – what’s the deal with that spooky staring pyramid, anyway?

 The New Avengers: Illuminati by Brian Michael Bendis, Brian Reed, and Jim Cheung

This is a kinder, gentler Illuminati. Sort of. A gathering of well-known powerful Marvel comics characters are revealed as having manipulated several important events from behind the scenes. Their intentions are mostly good, but as with many tales of good versus evil, things get muddy, and what Professor Xavier, Tony Stark, and Doctor Strange (among others) resort to meet their goals may not always be so nice.

 The Boys From Brazil by Ira Levin

Can you have a good secret society/conspiracy theory reading list without Nazis? No, you cannot. Nazis are the fallback conspiracy of literature at large. So, here is a book about secret Nazis hiding in South America and plotting to kill six aging men. Why do they want to kill these six men in particular? What are the connections between them and the exiled SS members? The writing has been described as ‘cinematic,’ which explains why there is a movie version.

The Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler White

The members of the secret society in this group want to save the world and make it a better place – but very slowly, over hundreds of years and multiple reincarnations. One could say they want to do so in increments. The plan seems to be progressing well, if at a glacial place, but then something goes wrong with the lovebirds who star in the story, and they go wrong rather quickly, as they often do.

Ritual America: Secret Brotherhoods and Their Influence on American Society, a Visual Guide by Adam Parfrey

Most of the secret societies on this list are fictional, but as we mentioned before, there have been real ones throughout history. This book takes a comprehensive look at the secret fraternal societies of America in particular, describing their history, traditions, and influence. As indicated by the ‘visual guide’ part of the title, almost every page features reproductions of fraternal memorabilia, including many snapshots of men in aprons and silly hats.

Alright, we’re done conspiring to bring you fun things to read – for now. We’ll duck back behind our librarian curtain and let you take over – what are your favorite books or movies about secret societies? Let us know in the comments. Bonus points if you write it in code.

 

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Read.Watch.Play: The winners

Don’t let the cold weather get you down – February is an awesome time to curl up with a nice warm book, watch a movie with friends, or play a fun video game from the UGL collection.  And who better to recommend one than the winners of our READ.WATCH.PLAY contest from last Fall.

We promised to make then library-famous, and now we have. Please join us in congratulating the first three of our six winners – Grant Wilson, Liz Armstrong, and Maggie Wolfe, who can’t wait to share some of their favorites with you.  Check out their amazing choices below, photographed in our highly literary video production studio, and look for their posters on the upper level of the UGL.

First up, we have Liz Armstrong, who chose Pride and Prejudice, the movie (the Keira Knightley version).  With Valentine’s Day coming up, take a break to remind yourself how love can overcome any obstacle

Watch! with Liz Armstrong. Photo courtesy of the Undergraduate Library

Watch! with Liz Armstrong. Photo courtesy of the Undergraduate Library

Next, we have Grant Wilson who recommends “Unwind” by Neal Shusterman.  Set in a dystopian future, this science fiction novel brings you action, excitement, and plot twists framing a thoughtful discussion of a hugely-relevant social issue.

 

Read! with Grant Wilson. Photo courtesy of the Undergraduate Library

Read! with Grant Wilson. Photo courtesy of the Undergraduate Library

 

And third, we have Ms. Maggie Wolfe, who shares a favorite of hers, “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare. Find inspiration in the words of the immortal bard, which still feel connect to the lives of college students today.  When things feel out of your hands, Maggie encourages us to think of Prospero, entreating “let your indulgences set me free.”

Read! with Maggie Wolfe. Photo courtesy of the Undergraduate Library.

Read! with Maggie Wolfe. Photo courtesy of the Undergraduate Library.

A photo shoot and your very own poster sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Be on the lookout for our next Read.Watch.Play contest, and start planning your own poster now.

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The UGL Presents: Holiday Recipes

UGL’ers, Fall break is almost here, which means finals are almost here…which means Winter break is almost here! It’s that time of year where our families make an obscene amount of food that is sure to last them a whole month. Well, to add to your food choices, the UGL has asked their staff members to share their own favorite holiday recipes, complete with photos of their yummy treats.

Jen’s recipe is for some low-fat pumpkin muffins. All you need is 1 15 oz can of pumpkin and 1 box of cake mix, which can be any flavor, but of course, spice and carrot are great for the fall.

Then, mix the ingredients together and bake in papers or a greased muffin tin for 18-22 minutes at 350 degrees. To add some more flavor, be sure to add dark chocolate chips to the mix or sprinkle some brown sugar on top of the muffins when they ready.

Pumpkin Muffins. Photo courtesy of Amy Gizienski via Flickr Commons

Pumpkin Muffins. Photo courtesy of Amy Gizienski via Flickr Commons

Thomas’ favorite recipe are mince pies. It’s a Christmas classic that is sure to please all your guests at the party. You need 12oz of mincemeat, 7 oz of plain flour (sifted), 1.5 oz of golden caster sugar, 2¾oz ground almonds, 4.5 oz of unsalted butter (diced), 1 egg, and milk (to glaze). For a preparation method, go to the recipe here.

Mince Pies. Photo courtesy of Vratsagirl via Flickr Commons

Mince Pies. Photo courtesy of Vratsagirl via Flickr Commons

Madeline had a great recipe for a Filipino Noodle Dish, called Pancit. The following ingredients will make 6 servings. All you need is 1 (12ox.) package of dried rice noodles (thin spaghetti noodles will also work). Follow the directions on the package to cook, 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil, 1 onion (finely diced), 3 cloves of garlic (minced), 2 cups of diced cooked chicken breast meat, 4 carrots (thinly sliced), 1/4 cup of soy sauce, and 2 lemons (cut into wedges for garnish).

After you collect the ingredients, place the rice noodles in a large bowl, and cover with warm water. When soft, drain, and set aside. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft. Stir in chicken, cabbage, carrots, and soy sauce. Cook until cabbage begins to soften. Toss in noodles, and cook until heated through, stirring constantly. Transfer the Pancit to a serving dish and garnish with quartered lemons. Enjoy!
Pancit. Photo courtesy of aJ Gazmen via Flickr Commons

Pancit. Photo courtesy of aJ Gazmen via Flickr Commons

 Ready for the ultimate dessert? How about Espresso Oreo Balls? With just a couple of ingredients and no baking time, they can be yours. You will need the following ingredients: 8 oz. cream cheese, 1 pkg. original Oreos, 1/3 c. espresso ground coffee beans (very finely ground coffee beans), and 1 pkg. White Almond bark. The directions are very simple, crush the Oreos, mix them together with cream cheese and ground coffee until combined well. Melt the Almond bark (you may need to add coconut oil or Crisco to get it thin enough to coat). Form Oreo mixture into balls, coat with Almond bark, and let set for 1 hr on wax paper or saran wrap. Enjoy this delicious treat.
Espresso Oreo Balls. Photo courtesy of Mark via Flickr Commons

Espresso Oreo Balls. Photo courtesy of Mark via Flickr Commons

Quetzalli’s favorite treat (but, might as well be a meal) is her turkey stuffing (well, her mom’s recipe). All you need is 1 bag of 1-inch cubed sourdough bread, 2 Italian sausages, carrots that have been cut into 1 inch pieces, 6 stalks of celery that have been sliced into 1 inch pieces, 2 apples that have been cut into small pieces, pecans (amount is up to you), salt, 1 onion that has been cut and sliced into small cubes, 8 cups of chicken stock, margarine, and any condiments that you might want to add.

Place the Italian sausage in a pan and keep the stove on medium until the sausage is golden and cooked. With a tiny bit of margarine, add all the vegetables, but one at a time. When added with the sausage, make to sure to mix for a couple of minutes, and then add more. The, add the fruit and the nuts. At the very end, add the bread and the chicken stock. Add whatever seasonings you would like. You can eat it like that or add it to the turkey.

Turkey Stuffing. Photo courtesy of betty rocker via Flickr Commons

Turkey Stuffing. Photo courtesy of betty rocker via Flickr Commons

For other great ideas, be sure to checkout the holiday recipe cookbooks that the library has to offer. Be sure to also check out our Pinterest board for some new food treats for the holidays. What are your favorite holiday recipes? Share them with us in the comments below.

 

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…!

The combination of narrative and dialogue with sequenced illustrations is generally what sets a graphic novel apart from other literary forms. Speech bubbles between characters move the plot along, and expository notes from the author help us follow the illustrated action. Some artists, however, focus exclusively on the ‘graphic’ part of graphic novels, and create works with no words at all. In the following books, there are no sentences or paragraphs, but that doesn’t mean nothing is said.

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

First things first, if you haven’t already read “The Arrival” by Shaun Tan, pick it up right now. For those of you who have come a long way to attend UIUC, or who are still getting used to your new college environment, this book is a gentle, comforting tale of finding your bearings in a strange land. The illustrations are high detailed, but soft and warm. It’s the best picture book for adults, period – though children can enjoy it, too, of course.

Six Novels in Woodcuts by Lynd Ward

Before graphic novels, there were wordless novels: long series of woodcuts which, when viewed in sequence, told a story. Lynd Ward was the first prominent American artist to work in this proto-graphic-novel form, and we have all 6 of his stark works for you to enjoy. You can also read more about wordless novels in general in “Wordless Books” by David A. Beronä (lots of words in that one, though).

Mister O. by Lewis Trondheim

Mister O is a small person. Mister O is shaped like an O. Mister O would like to cross that chasm so that he can continue his walk, but everything in the world seems to conspire to prevent him from doing so – cranky birds, aliens, poorly aimed cannons… It’s very simple, but sometimes the simplest pictures are best. There’s a punchline on every page – almost instant gratification!

Congress of the Animals by Jim Woodring

While “The Arrival” (above) focuses on making a new home in a new place, “Congress of the Animals” is more about what happens when you leave home and have no idea where you are. Frank, a small buck-toothed critter, escapes his safe, but stifling environment and journeys through bizarre, woodcut-esque landscapes. Stuff gets real weird, but if you’re into it, you can check out the similarly wordless “Weathercraft” by the same author, which the publisher describes as containing “32 pages of almost incomprehensible suffering.”

Greetings from Hellville by Thomas Ott

As the title implies, the short stories in this collection are hellish and disturbing; finely-textured nightmares in which nothing goes right. The artists Thomas Ott draws inspiration from early silent horror movies, so give ‘em a look if you want to be seriously creeped out (and possibly scared speechless, much like the characters). You can also check out more of Ott’s work in “R.I.P: Best of 1985-2004;” just leave your nightlight on.

Sshhhh! by Jason

What an appropriate title for a book with no words. This is a collection of 10 short vignettes that follow a bird-headed man in a hat through journeys simultaneously mundane and surreal. Bird-head man explores love, jealousy, parenthood, aging, death, and isolation, in absolute contemplative silence. If you dig Jason’s style but want a little more conversation with your illustration, try another of his works, “Tell Me Something,” which (aptly enough) has some dialogue.

We think we’ve said enough about stories that thrive on a lack of words. Do you have a favorite graphic novel without words? Tell us about in the comments…or draw us a picture, if you’re really in the spirit!

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Classic Horror Stories Readers’ Advisory

Halloween season is here! Although there are many things to enjoy about the holiday (dressing up in silly costumes, eating tons of candy, the return of the NBA, etc.),a favorite part of Halloween is the tradition of reading scary stories. You can be scared witless by a story at any time of the year, but around this time feels just right to curl up with a scary book as the leaves are beginning to turn.

 

Horror fiction has a long, rich history. Many modern horror novels and films are influenced by the classic horror stories of yesteryear. The following reader’s advisory are horror stories and novels whose frights have withstood the test of time.

 

The Raven: Tales and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe

 Arguably the father of the horror short story, Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most notable writers in the horror/suspense genre. Poe is perhaps best known for his poem, “The Raven,” but his short stories are where the true scares can be found. This collection includes the titular poem, as well as nail-biters like “The Pit and the Pendulum” and “The Masque of the Red Death.” Recommended if you like Gothic literature, detective stories, and mystery.

The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers

 This 1895 collection of weird, supernatural short stories has experienced something of a renaissance this year. The cause behind this spike in interest is the HBO series “True Detective”, which heavily referenced Chambers’ work in its suspenseful first season (ex: The Yellow King, Carcosa, etc.). American horror master H.P. Lovecraft was also heavily influenced by this collection. Recommended if you like supernatural stories and/or if you’re a “True Detective” fan waiting for Season 2.

 

“The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

 Published in 1898, this novella is a literary tale of psychology and the supernatural. Given its short length, this is a good choice if you’re looking for an evening of mystery. Like many of the best horror stories, this novella is still inspiring a debate over whether the ghosts in the tale are real or merely imagined. Recommended if you like psychological literature, ghost stories, and New Criticism.

Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft by H.P. Lovecraft

 Despite not being widely recognized during his lifetime, H.P. Lovecraft is now one of the most celebrated authors of Horror and Weird Fiction. Although not all of his work falls into the horror genre, Lovecraft’s short stories and novellas have plenty of terrifying and eerie moments. This collection contains all of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu stories, including his most famous story, “The Call of Cthulhu,” as well as his legendary novella, “At the Mountains of Madness.” Recommended if you like terrifying creatures, complex mythologies, and artist H.R. Giger’s work on the Alien films.

 

The Shining by Stephen King

 One of Stephen King’s best works, The Shining is a quintessential haunted house (or hotel) story. Although Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation is excellent and quite scary at times, the book is way more terrifying. Set at a luxurious mountain hotel in Colorado, The Shining explores what happens when the Overlook Hotel closes for the winter and aspiring novelist Jack Torrance and his family stay on as caretakers. Recommended if you like supernatural terror, haunted houses, and being scared of bathtubs.

 

These five works merely scratch the surface of the scares that horror literature has to offer. What are your favorite scary stories or films? Tell us in the comments below. Happy haunting!

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READ WATCH PLAY: Get your face on a poster!

Ever look at your dorm room or apartment walls and wonder, “My decorations are alright, but a poster of myself would really spice this place up”? Well, it’s your lucky day! The UGL is excited to announce the READ, WATCH, PLAY Poster Contest. Yes, it is your golden opportunity to get YOUR FACE on a poster. You can hang it on the wall and show it off to friends, or you can hang it somewhere dark and scare your friends. It’s totally up to you because it will be all yours! So, here’s how it’s going down.

General Poster 1

1. You must be a current undergraduate student at the University of Illinois.

2. You must like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

3. You will then pick a book, movie, or video game that you want to pose with. Explain to us (just 2 or 3 sentences) why you chose that book, movie, or video game and why you think other undergrads would be interested in it.

4. What is your favorite service or space at the Undergraduate Library and why?

A print application will be available at the Circulation desk on the upper level of the UGL. An online application is available at here.

Once a winner is chosen, a “photo shoot” will take place at the video production studio in the UGL. Be ready to reveal your inner supermodel. Once the photos are done, the poster will be printed out and displayed at our wonderful library through spring. An extra poster will be printed out for you to keep!

 

 

 

 

 

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Reader’s Advisory: DIY and New Hobbies

Hopefully you are enjoying the return to UIUC. You can keep things interesting by picking up a fun new skill or hobby. Set a goal for yourself to pick up a new skill or hobby by the end of the semester. In order to help you, the UGL has a few suggestions to help you get started.

Wired Beautiful: 30+ jewelry projects to hammer, coil, spiral, and twist by Heidi Boyd

Wired Beautiful by Heidi Boyd

Wired Beautiful by Heidi Boyd

Ever wanted to make jewelry that did not involve plastic beads and string that falls apart at a touch? Now is your chance to make your own jewelry, and hey, while you’re at it, make a nice necklace for your mom, sister, or brother.

How to Draw 1 (E-book) by Walter Foster

How to Draw 1 by Walter Foster

How to Draw 1 by Walter Foster

It’s time to sit down and finally learn how to do a decent drawing. Your fabulous stick figures do not count. Begin by learning the basic drawing techniques, step-by-step instructions, and demonstrations. Grab a pen and/or pencil and begin your journey from beginner, to Da Vinci status.

The Art of French Pastry by Jacquy Pfeiffer

The Art of French Pastry by Jacquy Pfeiffer

The Art of French Pastry by Jacquy Pfeiffer

Some of us have not been lucky to have been blessed with culinary skills. No matter what skill level, we can all agree that the good ole’ macarons, croissants, and eclairs are fabulous treats that we wish we could have at a moments notice. Here is your excuse to go to the grocery store and get everything you need for your own mini French bakery.

Podcasting: The Do-it-Yourself Guide by Todd Cochrane

Podcasting: The Do-it-Yourself Guide by Todd Cochrane

Podcasting: The Do-it-Yourself Guide by Todd Cochrane

We all have our favorite podcasts that we like to listen to daily. Sometimes, you might want to create your own thing. With this book, learn how to use podcasting software and if you’re up for it, how to create a professional studio for recording. It also addresses issues with copyright and music ownership. All the important things for creating a well made podcast from the ground up, but having fun while you do it.

Graphic Design: The New Basics by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips

Graphic Design: The New Basics by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips

Graphic Design: The New Basics by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips

If you’re looking for something new that will help get a step ahead of everyone else, why not learn a little about graphic design? Computer skills + graphic design= useful and fun ability. Those employers will be impressed and you’ll have learned a new talent.

Woodcarving: Get started in a new craft and with easy-to follow projects for beginners by Peter Berry

Woodcarving : get started in a new craft with easy-to-follow projects for beginners

Woodcarving : get started in a new craft with easy-to-follow projects for beginners by Peter Berry

Why take up woodcarving? because it’s awesome. But, seriously, it’s good to learn a skill where you can use your hands, wood, and something sharp. After all, who doesn’t want to learn how to carve a cute owl? Plus, you’ll get to impress all your friends and family.

What are some hobbies or new things that you’ve wanted to learn? Do you have any new places  or new literature that you’d like to explore? Share them with us in the comments below!

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Labor Day – Reader’s Advisory

The UGL hopes everyone is enjoying their Labor Day.  To celebrate, we decided to take a look at women’s labor movement.  There are great books in our collection that describe various occupations and how women’s roles in them have changed through the years.  These are more than just the traditional “Rosie the Riveter” themes. So, scroll down and take a look at how women and their roles in society have changed.

 

The XX Factor by Alison Wolf

Ever wonder if the current social roles of women are the ones expected by the trail blazing feminists of the early 60s? In Wolf’s book, she discusses the way women’s life choices have evolved and changed from a few, such as in the home, to as varied as any choices men have. However, Wolf argues that while there has been evolution in women’s education and employment, this is still not the society many envisioned.  Read The XX Factor to learn about Wolf’s vision for equality.

Not June Cleaver edited by Joanne Meyerowitz

What comes to mind when you think 1950s housewife? Do you think of Donna Reed? In this book, Meyerowitz has gathered together different essays that attempt to revise this standard picture of 1950s women and postwar U.S. women’s history. Why is it that this white, blonde, middle class woman is the first image that comes to mind? Read this book to start changing your own mental image of women and what they’ve achieved.

 

Beyond the Typewriter by Sharon Hartman Strom

Now we are examining a more specific genre of women in labor; those that were once known as secretaries.  This book examines how women were first introduced into the world of the “office”, and how that was seen as the pinnacle of achievement. It continues through women’s growing realizations and struggles to become more than just secretaries. If you like Mad Men, and have watched Peggy and Joan struggle with these same issues, then this book’s for you.

 

A Mouthful of Rivets by Nancy Baker Wise and Christy Wise

We all know the iconic image of Rosie the Riveter, the symbol of the women’s labor movement during World War II. But what about the real women who stepped up and took on these traditionally masculine roles? What types of experiences did they face and what was their attitude about going back to the home once the war was over?  This book is full of interviews of the women who lived the life depicted by the image. If you want to know the real Rosie’s, you can start here!

 

American Women and World War II by Doris Weatherford

Instead of focusing on one possible career of women during WW II, Weatherford provides a glimpse into many professions: nurse, military, industrial and home front.  The various depictions of these women in films about WW II do not do them the justice they deserve. These women were faced with problems the likes of which they’d never encountered.  How they stepped into the breach and did more than just pick up the slack is described in this book. So, if you want to know how these real women dealt with the new and varied upheavals in their lives during this tumultuous time, pick this book up from the UGL!

Enjoy your Labor Day and celebrate by looking for these books about women in the labor movement, available in our collection here at the UGL.

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An Ocean of Good Reads

Central Illinois is a wonderful place. It is home to our wonderful Alma Mater, the charming cities of Urbana and Champaign, and enough cornfields to support even the most voracious grilled corn habit. There is, however, a distinct lack of salt air, of booming waves, and of billowing sails. If you find yourself pining for the sea life, take home one of these ocean-themed books from the UGL. You can read them in a hammock and pretend you’re below-decks!

Silver : My Own Tale as Written by Me with a Goodly Amount of Murder
by Edward Chupack

An Ocean + A Boat = Pirates, obviously. You’re probably familiar with Treasure Island, perhaps the most well-known pirate story of Western literature. But have you ever wondered about how the infamous pirate Long John Silver became who he is? This is his life story, recounted by Silver himself, as he sails imprisoned towards his execution in England. Many murders and treasure troves are recounted, in highly stylized pirate lingo, but the biggest and most mysterious treasure is only hinted at…

The Seas: a Novel
By Samantha Hunt

“Long walks on the beach” are often heralded as being the height of romance. What if, however,  you’re a young woman in a desolate seaside town, grieving the loss of your father, convinced you’re a mermaid, and in love with a older, damaged veteran? Time spent on the beach together might have a different feel to it, then. That’s the premise behind this novel, which draws from ethereal fairy tales but is set in cold, hard reality.

8 Men and a Duck : an Improbable Voyage by Reed Boat to Easter Island
by Nick Thorpe

Translating the art of the road trip to the southern Pacific, this is the tale of 8 dudes (mostly non-sailors) who attempt to travel from the coast of Chile to Easter Island in a boat made out of reeds. Their motivation? Living to tell the tale, mostly. There are sharks, storms, and rival sailing teams who attempt to sabotage the mission; there is also, as promised, a duck. The duck’s name is Pedro.

The Sea is My Brother
by Jack Kerouac

Before he became a famous figure in Beat literature, Jack Kerouac was a merchant marine. That means he worked as a sailor on ships carrying passengers and cargo, and that is the setting of this, his first, incomplete novel. Young men at sea grappling with loneliness, identity, and drinking in the modern world – if that sounds like your cup of grog, pick this one up.

 

The Sea Wolf
by Jack London, adapted by Riff Reb’s

Originally a novel by Jack London, of White Fang and Call of the Wild fame, this graphic novel adaptation adds dramatic, high-contrast illustrations to a classic adventure tale. Instead of furry beasts in snowy Yukon climes, the ‘wolf’ in this story is a hardened sailor in the South Pacific. He and his crew of seal hunters pick up a shipwreck victim, Humphrey, who is initially glad for their help…but Humphrey soon realizes that this ain’t no pleasure cruise, and he will have to fight to survive.

 

That’s it for our fleet of ocean-centered stories. We hope you got to see more of the ocean this summer that the UGL ever does, from it’s vantage point underground. Do you have a favorite book or movie set on the high seas? Tell us about it in the comments!

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World Cup 2014: Reader’s Advisory

It’s officially the season of pool parties, Summer II classes, and smoothies.  For those “futbol” fans among us, the summer of 2014 marks the most important event of the season, the World Cup. The first World Cup began in 1930 and takes place every four years and is hosted by a different country every time. This year, it is taking place in the Mecca of soccer, Brazil. Now, if you’re not familiar with the World Cup, or even soccer, have no worries, the UGL is here to the rescue!

We have compiled a list for the fans and for those who are starting to get familiar with the sport.

“A Beautiful Game” by Tom Watt

A Beautiful Game: The World’s Greatest Players and How Soccer Changed their Lives” by Tom Watt

Ever wonder how soccer can change the lives of kids? Well, read now read it from the players themselves. Lionel Messi, Landon Donovan, David Beckham, among others. An insight on how soccer affected and changed their lives, to become some of the greatest names in the sport.

The ESPN World Cup Companion: Everything you need to know about the planet’s biggest sports event

The ESPN World Cup companion : everything you need to know about the planet's biggest sports event

“The ESPN World Cup companion : everything you need to know about the planet’s biggest sports event”

Chips, check. Soda, check, the game is on the television, check. Now what? It’s time to sit back and enjoy the game. Have this handy guide next to you if you’re just getting to know the game. If not, it never hurts to have a guide to the game.

Why Soccer Matters” by Pele (AKA Edson Arantes do Nascimento)

“Why Soccer Matters” by Pele

A fascinating insight into the mind and thoughts of one of the greatest players of all time (in our humble opinion). Edson Arantes do Nascimento, a Brazilian player, also known as Pelé, is one of the greatest players to come out of Brazil. In this book, he explores the game of soccer from his perspective and also writes about working with charitable organizations all over the world. A great read for the soccer fan or for an inquiring mind.

Fear and Loathing in La Liga: Barcelona vs Real Madrid” by Sid Lowe

“Fear and Loathing in La Liga” by Sid Lowe

The rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid has been going on for years, but the conflict stems from the time of the Spanish Civil War. It’s much more than Messi vs. Ronaldo. Read all about this fascinating rivalry and why it’s more than just a game.

Solo: A Memoir of Hope” by Hope Solo

“Solo: A Memoir of Hope” by Hope Solo

A memoir of world-famous American Goalkeeper, Hope Solo. Follow her journey from a broken childhood to a world-class goalkeeper and an Olympic gold-medalist. She serves as a role model to not only Americans, but to people from all over the world.

The Girls of Summer: The U.S Women’s Soccer Team and how it changed the world” by Jere Longman

“The Girls of Summer” by Jere Longman

In July of 1999, the American Women’s soccer team defeated China in the Women’s Wold Cup. From this day forward, the popularity of women’s soccer increased and has been going strong ever since.

As a special treat, we have “1283” which is limited edition, 500 page book by Pele. This book was recently purchased by the International and Area Studies Library here at UIUC. It is available by request, so check it out!

Be sure to mark your calendars for any important games you don’t want to miss! When there aren’t any games being played, be sure to do some summer reading, after all, you wouldn’t want to get behind, would you?

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