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News and events from DePaul University Libraries

Get 'Em While They're Fresh: New Books for May

by missy 5/11/2010 5:11:00 PM

As long as the weather feels closer to January than June, let's consider the arctic. In After the Ice: Life, Death, and Geopolitics in the New Arctic, a research biologist looks at issues in the region as well as the competing interests of the U.S., Canada, Russia, Norway, and Denmark. "Combining science, business, politics, and adventure, Alun Anderson takes the reader to the ends of the earth in a narrative portrait of this rapidly changing land of unparalleled global significance."

One uncontested instance of Russian dominance is Chekhov's mastery as a short-story writer and playwright. First published in the Soviet Union in 1933 and now available in translation, Anton Chekhov: A Brother's Memoir gives the reader a new understanding of his family, friends, and environs, courtesy of Mikhail’s perspective as his brother's assistant. Chekhov is lauded for plumbing the depths of the human character; now we'll know for sure which characters.

Choctaw Crime and Punishment, 1884-1907 borrows a title from another Russian master but transports the action to Oklahoma lands during skirmishes between assimilation-minded Progressives and resistant Nationalists. Mihesuah, who teaches international cultural understanding at KU, uses the murder of her great-great-grandfather and other deadly violence ten years later to examine Choctaw factionalism during this time of change.

To examine other killer new books, look for the New Titles link in the catalog or check out the displays at the Lincoln Park or Loop Libraries.

Get 'Em While They're Fresh: New Books for September

by missy 9/23/2009 7:50:00 PM

It’s officially fall—if you listen carefully, you might be able to hear the post-summer whimpering of kids consigned to classrooms again. At one high school in New York, however, that also means creating comic books about their lives. In Manga High: Literacy, Identity, and Coming of Age in an Urban High School, Michael Bitz “explores the convergence of literacy, creativity, social development, and personal identity” and includes students’ original art and writing from his four-year study.

What's Math Got to Do with It? While hooking teens on writing via comics makes sense, something tells me that math might be a harder sell. Jo Boaler, a professor of mathematics education at Stanford University, sees this as a crisis. After following student progress and observing successful strategies, she articulates a new course of action in What’s Math Got to Do with It?: Helping Children Learn to Love Their Least Favorite Subject—and Why It’s Important for America.

Moving on to my own most favorite subject, Worlds of Sound: The Story of Smithsonian Folkways tells of Moses Asch’s lifelong quest to document “folk expression” in all its forms—folk, bluegrass, country, jazz, blues, and sound recordings that included tree frogs, the poetry of Langston Hughes, train locomotives, and civil rights sit-ins. His label’s amazing treasures became part of the Smithsonian collection after his death (and are available in our Smithsonian Global Sound database).

To see if any of our other new books sound good, look for the New Titles link in the catalog or check out the displays at the Lincoln Park or Loop Libraries.

Get 'Em While They're Fresh: New Books

by missy 5/27/2009 3:33:00 PM

Obsessed with LanguageWe'd like to highlight just a few of the hundreds of new books that the library acquires each month. And why not start with controversy? Another country's, that is. Chantal Bouchard, a linguist at McGill University, tackles the loaded question of "Parisian French" versus so-called "French-Canadian patois" and the issues that have accompanied it for almost two centuries in Obsessed with Language: A Sociolinguistic History of Quebec (LPC 447.9714 B7524O).

Chicago-Lake GenevaNot ready to head that far north? How about Wisconsin? Chicago-Lake Geneva: A 100 Year Road Trip (LPC 917 C5329) retraces the route of a 1905 "photographic automobile map" complete with period advertisements and hand-drawn directional arrows. Thanks to the Chicago Map Society and the Newberry Library, we can see the original photographs paired with contemporary photos of the same spot; thanks to modern speed limits, it won't take you the recommended six hours to arrive.

Road trips mean summer, and summer means baseball—but not for everyone. In Stolen Bases: Why American Girls Don’t Play Baseball (LPC 796.357082 R5812S), University of Nevada-Reno professor of political science Jennifer Ring explores the intersection of gender, colonialism, and big business in our national pastime.

If you want to take a swing at any of our new books, look for the New Titles link in the catalog or check out the displays at the Lincoln Park or Loop Libraries.

I Heart the Reverse Dictionary

by missy 5/14/2008 2:14:00 PM
Got a case of tip-of-your-tongue syndrome? The Reverse Dictionary might be an effective remedy, allowing you to describe a concept and get results about it. Let's say you're telling someone about the penalty Tomas Holmstrom got in the Stanley Cup playoff game the other night for interfering in the ... the ... you know, that part of the ice right in front of the goal. Reverse Dictionary to the rescue: entering "hockey goalie area" nets me (pun fully intended) the word "crease" and 100 other related terms that I can browse.

For your academic work, there are other tools the library offers that can help with this kind of thing, too: a thesaurus (Roget's and lots of other options at R. 423.1), a visual dictionary (R. 423.1 M167C1992), a thematic dictionary (Descriptionary, LPC R. 423.1 M133D), or a reference e-book collection like Credo for more substantial research.

But when you're trying to think of a term that you might not have dropped into casual usage since that philosophy class two years ago, it's nice to type in "German worldview" and be pointed to multiple definitions of "weltanschauung". And while I can neither confirm nor deny that it may be useful for crossword puzzles (a seven-letter word for hungry: p??ki?h) and Scrabulous, this may be a tip you want to keep to yourself.

Thursday Readings: Pedal (Loop) vs. Metal (LPC)

by missy 4/14/2008 2:35:00 PM

If CTA construction is getting you down, stop by the Barnes & Noble DePaul Center this Thursday, April 17, at 5:30 to find out how you can become your own alternative transportation. J. Harry Wray, professor of political science at DePaul, will discuss and sign his new book "Pedal Power: The Quiet Rise of the Bicycle in American Public Life" (LPC 388.34720973 W943p2008), which grew out of the Discover Chicago course he's taught for several years. Wray shows how "politics, economics, and the environment combine to affect culture and be affected by it," and how a bike seat can be the best place to experience that.

Then, if you ride north fast enough, you'll be in time for Steve Almond's reading here at 7 pm in room 300 of Richardson Library. Almond first gained attention with the story collection "My Life in Heavy Metal." He followed that up with "Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America" (LPC 338.47664153 A452c2004) and a co-authored novel with confessional narrators alternating by chapter. His newest offering is "(Not That You Asked): Rants, Exploits, and Obsessions," a collection of essays with "biting humor, honesty, smarts and heart," according to Kirkus Reviews.


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