A Little Taste of Sunshine

With summer semester coming up, the library staff is hard at work making sure that life at the library continues on as usual so that students can expect the same great service they get during the Spring and the Fall semesters. But secretly… ? We’re all quietly daydreaming about taking big slice out of our summer reading lists. I asked the staff what sure-to-be-amazing titles are at the very top of their “to-read” lists during our downtime this summer, and this is what they told me!

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Bellweather Rhapsody, Kate Racculia
Fifteen years ago, a murder-suicide in room 712 rocked the grand old Bellweather Hotel and the young bridesmaid who witnessed it, Minnie Graves. Now hundreds of high school musicians, including quiet bassoonist Rabbit Hatmaker and his brassy diva twin, Alice, have gathered in its cavernous, crumbling halls for the annual Statewide festival; Minnie has returned to face her demons; and a colossal snowstorm is threatening to trap them all in the hotel. Then Alice’s roommate goes missingfrom room 712. The search for her entwines an eccentric cast of characters: conductors and caretakers, failures and stars, teenagers on the verge and adults trapped in memories. For everyone has come to the Bellweather with a secret, and everyone is haunted.
– KC F., Parham Road

Misha

Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
In a series of essays, written as a letter to his son, Coates confronts the notion of race in America and how it has shaped American history, many times at the cost of black bodies and lives. Thoughtfully exploring personal and historical events, from his time at Howard University to the Civil War, the author poignantly asks and attempts to answer difficult questions that plague modern society. In this short memoir, the Atlantic writer explains that the tragic examples of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and those killed in South Carolina are the results of a systematically constructed and maintained assault to black people—a structure that includes slavery, mass incarceration, and police brutality as part of its foundation. From his passionate and deliberate breakdown of the concept of race itself to the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement, Coates powerfully sums up the terrible history of the subjugation of black people in the United States.
– Misha R., Downtown

 

NealeThe Fireman, Joe Hill
(If you aren’t familiar, Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son!)

The fireman is coming. Stay cool.

A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

Harper Grayson, a compassionate – pregnant – nurse, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child. Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Harper’s husband Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror.
– Neale F., Downtown

LisaAnything by Lois McMaster Bujold
Speculative fiction author and Hugo Award winner (three times over!), Lois McMaster Bujold, is the author of several series, including the Vorkosigan saga, the Chalion series, and the Sharing Knife series.

Her most recent book, Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen is a continuation of the Vorkosigan saga (#16) and was published in February 2016.

Three years after her famous husband’s death, Cordelia Vorkosigan, widowed Vicereine of Sergyar, stands ready to spin her life in a new direction. Oliver Jole, Admiral, Sergyar Fleet, finds himself caught up in her web of plans in ways he’d never imagined, bringing him to an unexpected crossroads in his life.

Meanwhile, Miles Vorkosigan, one of Emperor Gregor’s key investigators, this time dispatches himself on a mission of inquiry, into a mystery he never anticipated; his own mother.
– Lisa B. Parham Road

 

LoftanThe Fiery Cross, Diana Gabaldon
Book #5 of the Outlander Series

The year is 1771, and war is coming. Jamie Fraser’s wife tells him so. Little as he wishes to, he must believe it, for hers is a gift of dreadful prophecy—a time-traveler’s certain knowledge.

Born in the year of Our Lord 1918, Claire Randall served England as a nurse on the battlefields of World War II, and in the aftermath of peace found fresh conflicts when she walked through a cleftstone on the Scottish Highlands and found herself an outlander, an English lady in a place where no lady should be, in a time—1743—when the only English in Scotland were the officers and men of King George’s army.

Now wife, mother, and surgeon, Claire is still an outlander, out of place, and out of time, but now, by choice, linked by love to her only anchor—Jamie Fraser. Her unique view of the future has brought him both danger and deliverance in the past; her knowledge of the oncoming revolution is a flickering torch that may light his way through the perilous years ahead—or ignite a conflagration that will leave their lives in ashes….
– Loftan M., Downtown

 

9780778316558_RHC_SMP.inddThe Good Girl, Mary Kubica
“I’ve been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she works. I don’t know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.”

One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. At first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life.

When Colin decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota instead of delivering her to his employers, Mia’s mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them. But no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family’s world to shatter.
– Kate G., Downtown

 

Daily Bible readings

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– Lisa B., Parham Road

Susan01Oregon Trail, Rinker Buck
Spanning 2,000 miles and traversing six states from Missouri to the Pacific Ocean, the Oregon Trail is the route that made America.

Today, amazingly, the trail is all but forgotten.

Rinker Buck is no stranger to grand adventures. The book tells the story of Buck’s 2,000-mile expedition across the plains with tremendous humor and heart. He was accompanied by three cantankerous mules, his boisterous brother, Nick, and an “incurably filthy” Jack Russell terrier named Olive Oyl. Along the way, Buck dodges thunderstorms in Nebraska, chases his runaway mules across miles of Wyoming plains, scouts more than five hundred miles of nearly vanished trail on foot, crosses the Rockies, makes desperate fifty-mile forced marches for water, and repairs so many broken wheels and axels that he nearly reinvents the art of wagon travel itself. Apart from charting his own geographical and emotional adventure, Buck introduces readers to the evangelists, shysters, natives, trailblazers, and everyday dreamers who were among the first of the pioneers to make the journey west.
-Susan G., Goochland

RonundaThe 21 Day Sugar Detox, Diane Sanfilippo
“The 21-Day Sugar Detox” is a clear-cut, effective, whole-foods-based nutrition action plan that will reset your body and your habits! Tens of thousands of people have already used this groundbreaking guide to shatter the vicious sugar stronghold. Now it’s your turn!
Use the easy-to-follow meal plans and more than 90 simple recipes in this book to bust a lifetime of sugar and carb cravings in just three weeks. Three levels of the program make it approachable for anyone, whether you’re starting from scratch or from a gluten-free, grain-free, and/or Paleo/primal lifestyle.
– Ronunda C., Downtown

 

SuzanneLittle Black Lies, Sharon Bolton
In such a small community as the Falkland Islands, a missing child is unheard of. In such a dangerous landscape it can only be a terrible tragedy, surely…

When another child goes missing, and then a third, it’s no longer possible to believe that their deaths were accidental, and the villagers must admit that there is a murderer among them. Even Catrin Quinn, a damaged woman living a reclusive life after the accidental deaths of her own two sons a few years ago, gets involved in the searches and the speculation.

And suddenly, in this wild and beautiful place that generations have called home, no one feels safe and the hysteria begins to rise.

But three islanders—Catrin, her childhood best friend, Rachel, and her ex-lover Callum—are hiding terrible secrets. And they have two things in common: all three of them are grieving, and none of them trust anyone, not even themselves.
– Suzanne S., Parham Road

 

Kate02Don’t You Cry, Mary Kubica
In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she’s the person Quinn thought she knew.

Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.
– Kate G., Downtown

 

SydneyHarry Potter and the Cursed Child, J.K. Rowling , Jack Thorne and John Tiffany
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.
– Sydney G., Parham Road

 

DeniseThe M Train, Patti Smith
M Train is a journey through eighteen “stations.” It begins in the tiny Greenwich Village café where Smith goes every morning for black coffee, ruminates on the world as it is and the world as it was, and writes in her notebook. We then travel, through prose that shifts fluidly between dreams and reality, past and present, across a landscape of creative aspirations and inspirations: from Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul in Mexico, to a meeting of an Arctic explorer’s society in Berlin; from the ramshackle seaside bungalow in New York’s Far Rockaway that Smith buys just before Hurricane Sandy hits, to the graves of Genet, Plath, Rimbaud, and Mishima. Woven throughout are reflections on the writer’s craft and on artistic creation, alongside signature memories including her life in Michigan with her husband, guitarist Fred Sonic Smith, whose untimely death was an irremediable loss. For it is loss, as well as the consolation we might salvage from it, that lies at the heart of this exquisitely told memoir, one augmented by stunning black-and-white Polaroids taken by Smith herself. M Train is a meditation on endings and on beginnings: a poetic tour de force by one of the most brilliant multi-platform artists at work today.
– Denise W., Parham Road

 

KC02The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo
The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international best seller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home – and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.
– KC F. Parham Road

Susan02Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads, Paul Theroux
Paul Theroux has spent fifty years crossing the globe, adventuring in the exotic, seeking the rich history and folklore of the far away. Now, for the first time, in his tenth travel book, Theroux explores a piece of America — the Deep South. He finds there a paradoxical place, full of incomparable music, unparalleled cuisine, and yet also some of the nation’s worst schools, housing, and unemployment rates. It’s these parts of the South, so often ignored, that have caught Theroux’s keen traveler’s eye.  On road trips spanning four seasons, wending along rural highways, Theroux visits gun shows and small-town churches, laborers in Arkansas, and parts of Mississippi where they still call the farm up the road “the plantation.” He talks to mayors and social workers, writers and reverends, the working poor and farming families — the unsung heroes of the south, the people who, despite it all, never left, and also those who returned home to rebuild a place they could never live without.  From the writer whose “great mission has always been to transport us beyond that reading chair, to challenge himself — and thus, to challenge us” (Boston Globe), Deep South is an ode to a region, vivid and haunting, full of life and loss alike.
-Susan G., Goochland

 

What about you? Tell us, students and faculty members, what are YOU reading this summer?

How To Guide: Getting the Most Out of Spring Break!

Back it up!

Don’t forget to back-up all of your work! You might be away from your computer/laptop/tablet for a while, so don’t forget to back up all of your projects, research papers, and essays that you may be working on. You can always use your google drive account with your Reynolds (@email.vccs.edu) account to back up your most important documents!

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Travel safely!

If you’re heading out on the Great American Road Trip over spring break, make sure to top off your fluids or get a quick tune-up before you hit the road. And don’t forget to give your itinerary to a family member and/or a friend so someone always knows where you are. But whether you’re driving, flying or traveling outside of the country, take a look at these safety tips from safespringbreak.org.

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Take some “YOU” time.

Even if you can’t make a big trip and you still have to work, take advantage of the time you usually spend in class by taking an extra nap, catching up on TV, taking time to meal plan or just go out to dinner for once! Take a long soak in a hot bath by candlelight, take some extra time before bed to read that book that’s been sitting on your night stand for the past three weeks, hit the gym, anything that you normally have to put off because you’re too busy with school work. Taking some much-needed “you” time can be just what the doctor ordered to get you rested and ready for the rest of the semester.

Get some sun!

Whether gardening, barbecuing, taking a long trail walk or just hanging out with friends, try to find any excuse to get outside over spring break this year. Not only is this a fun way to get your Vitamin D (about 70% of the population is deficient in this essential nutrient!) but Vitamin D and sun exposure has a whole host of health benefits that you can read all about here. Just don’t forget to apply your SPF if you’re going to be outside for longer than a quick walk to the mail box!

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Take a book (or two) with you!

When else are you going to have the time to read The Martian? Forgot to check out a book before you left campus? Don’t forget that the Reynolds libraries will open with shortened hours on Tuesday through Friday during Spring Break. You can always call us to renew your books or DVDs, and we are here if you need to check out that popular title that you’ve been meaning to read. Don’t forget we’ve also got those movies and TV series’ you’ve been dying to watch!

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Make a lasting memory!

Do something you’ve never done before. Do something that scares you. Karaoke anyone? What about a dance class? Host a game night or a brunch with friends? What about a group yard sale or that day trip you’ve been dying to take? Don’t forget to spend some time with all the friends or family that you haven’t seen in a while. And most importantly, take pictures!!

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FIVE WAYS TO USE THE LIBRARY YOUR FIRST WEEK OF CLASS

COOL YOUR JETS
Whether you’re looking for a place to beat the heat, a quiet place to collect your thoughts, or just a comfy spot to eat your lunch, the library is the away-from-it-all refuge you’ve been looking for. So come in, find a comfy chair, and take a breather.

GET THAT WORM, EARLY BIRD!
Now that you’ve got your syllabus in-hand, it’s time to start strategizing. What’s that, you say? You’ve got an assignment on Othello in two weeks? Your instructor wants you to pick a novel to read for class next month? What’s stopping you from getting a head start and seeing if you can find what you need right here on campus? (Nothing! That’s what!)

DO THE LIBRARY OVERDUE WALK OF SHAME
Hate to tell you, but the jig is up! We know there are a few of you out there. What’s more? We know what it’s like. Summer semester ended and maybe you went to the beach for a few days. Not only that, your cousin Jasper invited you to his house in North Carolina for a week-long shin-dig and you just totally forgot about those books you had out. We totally get it. Don’t be shy! Bring those books in while you’re still thinking about them and before you get wrapped up in your assignments. We promise to spare you the librarian glare of death just this once.

CATCH UP ON MAD MEN
Before you get bogged down in term papers and reading assignments galore, why don’t you swing by to check out that DVD you’ve been dying to watch while you still have the free time? No tests to study for yet, no essays due for at least a few days! This, my friend, is what freedom feels like. And we’ve got tons of DVDs of any variety you can think of, movies, TV shows, you name it! So stop by and check out our collection. Come on, you know you want to!

FORGET GOING GREEN
As paperless as we try to be, sometimes you just have to print something. So bring two bucks (cash only, no coins or credit/debit cards) and get yourself a print card. You’ll need it to print all those class schedules/syllabi/essays/etc. Trust me, you don’t want to wait until the last minute! Stop by and ask one of our tech specialists or librarians for help. We’ll keep you in paper and ink!

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We’ve Got That! | Volume II

This week on We’ve Got That! I’m highlighting a few of the great books in our collection that have been adapted into films that will be released this year. There are just a few short weeks left of summer, so stop by today to pick up one of these great reads before the fall semester starts.

Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a devil’s deal, Dick Lehr & Gerard O’Neill
If you’ve ever seen the movie The Departed, you’re familiar with this type of character. Except unlike Jack Nicholson’s role in that movie, which is only loosely based on Whitey Bulger, this book is all true. One of the most infamous modern American gangsters, the very real, very scary, Whitey Bulger, evaded capture for decades by working as an FBI informant and later going on the run. This book has now been adapted into a film titled simply, Black Mass, with Johnny Depp in the starring role. This non-fiction book, available electronically, tells the story of Bulger, his heinous crimes, and how he managed to hide from authorities for so long.
Scheduled movie release date: September 18th 2015

 

The Martian, Andy Weir
Originally released as a self-published novel in 2011, The Martian was eventually snapped up by publishers and went on to become a bestseller. This realistic sci-fi adventure novel tells the story of astronaut Mark Watney who (spoiler alert!) is left on Mars alone after his crewmates on Ares 3 believe he is killed in a dust storm. Watney, a botanist and mechanical engineer (READ: MacGyver on Mars), has to survive on his own with the supplies that were left behind, his training, a data stick loaded with old episodes of Three’s Company, a cache of disco music, and with very little hope of rescue. The film of the same name, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon as the ingenious lead character, will be coming out this fall.
Scheduled movie release date: October 2nd 2015

 

Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
Unless you’re extremely late to the party, you already know that this is the third and final installment of The Hunger Games series and that it continues the saga of the futuristic nation of Panem and its inhabitants, Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, Haymitch Abernathy, and the dastardly President Snow. We’ve already seen part one of this installment in theaters, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. If you’re like me, you’ve already read the books, seen the movies, and are dying to see Mockingjay, Part 2. But in case you haven’t caught up on your reading, or in case you desperately need to re-read it, we’ve got you covered in both print and in audio.
Scheduled movie release date: November 20th 2015

In the Heart of the Sea, Nathaniel Philbrick
I bet most of you didn’t know that Herman Melville’s Moby Dick was actually inspired by the true story of a real life whaleship called Essex. Once common knowledge, the story of what happened to the fated New England vessel is now little-known. Luckily, with the discovery of the manuscript of the ship’s cabin boy, lost for nearly a hundred years, historians were given a firsthand account of what happened on that fateful trip. It is this manuscript, in part, on which Nathaniel Philbrick based his 2000 non-fiction book. The film version of Philbrick’s rendering of the tale, In the Heart of the Sea, was directed by Ron Howard and will be coming to theaters this December, starring Chris Hemsworth as the ship’s captain and Tom Holland (and Brendan Gleeson) as the cabin boy, Thomas Nickerson.
Scheduled movie release date: December 11th 2015

Local Event: Two Best-Selling YA Authors Coming to Richmond!

ifistayhbGood news for all you YA fanatics!

Next Wednesday, January 28th Fountain Bookstore is hosting a discussion and book signing with bestselling authors Gayle Forman (If I Stay – now a major motion picture!, Just One Day, I Was Here) and Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle, The Scorpio Races, The Shiver Series). They will be discussing their latest books, answering questions, and signing books for fans. (Copies will be available for purchase at the event.)

Date: Wednesday, January 28th
Time: 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Cost: Free!
Venue: Richmond Public Library – Main Branch
Address: 101 E. Franklin Street, Richmond, VA

Make #timetoread at Reynolds on National Readathon Day!

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Raise your hand if you can’t remember the last time you sat down and read a book for four hours straight? Don’t worry, we won’t look.

Well now is your chance to finally make #timetoread. The National Book Foundation, Goodreads, Mashable, and Penguin Random House have partnered together to create National Readathon Day.

The event takes place on Saturday, January 24th from 12-4PM and there are a couple of ways you can participate. You (and your team) can create your own fundraising page where you can raise money for the cause by pledging to read during the four-hour period. If you prefer, you can also donate to one of the many other teams already assembled. Of course, the simplest (and most fun) way to participate is by joining thousands of others from 12-4PM this Saturday in a four-hour marathon reading session!

If you need some book suggestions, simply pop by the library and ask one of the staff members or check out our popular titles collection.

Need a quiet place to read on National Readathon Day? Why don’t you drop by the Parham Road campus library this Saturday? We’ll be open during the event, from 12-4PM. Hope to see you there, book in hand!

A library without books: BiblioTech

ImageBiblioTech, part of the Bexar County Digital Library, is a library without a book. Instead of print books, BiblioTech provides computers, ereaders, tablets and laptops to patrons.

Located in a low-income neighborhood where Wi-Fi is rare, San Antonio’s, BiblioTech is technology lifeline for patrons.

What does a library without books provide?

  1. 10,000 book titles, all digital, purchased through 3M
  2. 600 e-readers
  3. 48 computer stations
  4. 20 iPads and laptops

The eReaders are pre-loaded with eBooks and are available for checkout. Adult eReaders have 5 titles each, childrens’ readers have 100 titles.

The library also provides more traditional library services like computer classes, meeting spaces, and quiet places to study.

The library is very popular, on track to reach 100,000 visitors in its first year.

Want to read more?