Thanksgiving is next week, and then we launch into a full period of exams for December. You’ll be up late studying a lot, so what to do in those precious hours you have downtime and want to just relax? Well, how about read (or re-read) the Harry Potter series?
It’s a fun adventure, with magic, hard choices, and a characters not always being what they seem. On top of that, the fact it was written for a slightly younger audience means you can fly through the first few books, getting yourself almost immediately to the parts that made you sad the first time around (don’t lie, you know you felt a few tears leak out, and you know which part is being referred to).
One of the absolute strengths of the series is on Rowling’s ability to bring the world of wizards alive, creating characters that it is impossible not to feel sympathy for (or, in some cases, impossible not to hate. Looking at you, Umbridge). Between Ron, Harry, Hermione, and Neville, every single reader ends up having a favorite they find themselves rooting for through seven straight books, and it’s a joy to see them each grow and change as more events unfold.
Of course, no discussion of Potter would be complete without pointing out just how much fun the names are to read – Albus Dumbledore, Severus Snape, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasely, Neville Longbottom, Minerva McGonagall, Rubeus Hagrid, Dolores Umbridge, Voldemort, Draco Malfoy – Rowling has a Dickensian way of naming a character perfectly for their personality, making it even more fun to see them running around the castle together.
So pick up a hot Butterbeer Latte from Starbucks (part of their secret menu), crack open Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and let yourself be taken away down Memory Lane on a broomstick.
And good luck on your exams.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette is a quirky little novel, full of delightful characters and funny situations. The entire novel is told in pieces, through a combination of e-mails, various reports, and the commentary of our narrator, Bee. Bee’s goal in sharing the story is to piece together the mindset and life of her mother, Bernadette Fox, who becomes harder and harder to understand right up until she vanishes.
The characters sparkle in this book, especially the namesake Bernadette Fox. Everyone feels like people you might know in your neighborhood, and it’s very easy to like or hate them accordingly. But above all, everything that happens is so absurd that it’s impossible not to laugh and enjoy the actions of Bernadette as she handles the public, fellow mothers at her daughter’s school, and even her own husband. A ridiculous yet sympathetic character you will find yourself quickly rooting for.
If you’re looking for something light and fun to distract you from a mountain of work (or to entertain you on your train ride into school), look no further than Where’d You Go, Bernadette.
Want to read Where’d You go, Bernadette? You can check it out at Hirsh! Just click the cover to be taken to the listing in the catalog. Happy reading!
Recently, the Tufts University libraries banded together and instituted an entirely new way to order books from within our library system. You no longer have to log into ILLiad to order a book from Tisch, Ginn, Vet, or any of the other Tufts University libraries – for now on, it’s is as easy as 1-2-3!
Step 3: Make sure your location on the drop-down menu says “Hirsh Health Sciences Library,” add a date if it’s a dated request (for instance, if it’s for a research paper, and won’t be any use after the paper’s due date passes), and click Submit. You’re done!
You’re all set! If the book is available, then your request will generally show up in around 2 – 3 business days. Feel free to visit the desk or call us at 617.636.6706 if you have any questions or run into any problems.
The Night Circus is a story that sticks with you. Morgenstern’s poetic approach to descriptions of the circus and its denizens dance on the page, and after finishing the book, anything less poetic end up coming off as drab. Really, the circus almost comes alive when you’re reading, and there are moments you begin to wonder if you can smell the popcorn and caramel she continually refers to.
In an odd happenstance, the two characters at the center of the contest that powers the story actually end up feeling a bit contrived by the last page, making the reader wonder how the rest of the book veritably sparkles, and then that can still happen. Still, it doesn’t truly detract from the story in any meaningful way. The issues that the reader may take with certain elements of that piece of the story stand out all the more because of the nearly effortless way the rest of the book pulls itself together.
You can do far worse than picking up The Night Circus, even with so few beach days left to the year. Of course, perhaps the visual and olfactory sensations present on the page will bring the sharp air of the impending autumn into relief.
There’s certainly one easy way to find out.
Want to read The Night Circus? You can check it out at Hirsh! Just click the cover to be taken to the listing in the catalog. Happy reading!
Ready Player One ended being a much, much better book than one would assume at face value. On the surface, the story surrounds a gamer named Wade, as he attempts to make friends and find a hidden Easter egg treasure deep within the bowels of the largest multi-player game ever concocted, OASIS. But there are catches: the people he’s friends with are also competing for the prize; a huge conglomerate corporation is trying to steal it out from under them; and the only person who even knew where to find the keys to get to the tests to try to win the prize was the game’s mastermind, who started the contest in his last will and testament.
The prize? $2.4 billion and a controlling stake in his company.
Ready Player One actually tends to make the reader forget that they’re reading about a character playing a game, and when compared to the “real” world, it’s easy to see how that happens. By the point the story begins, Earth has been absolutely ravaged by war and food and fuel shortages, and has become little more than an apocalyptic wasteland where people have to scrape a living together to get by. This is the world OASIS was born into, and this is the world that gave it the distinction of being the biggest game in world history. And then the contest starts.
Cline has littered the book with references to and trivia of pop culture from the last thirty years, so reading the story is almost like an exciting trip through nostalgia. The characters are fun, the story’s engaging, and the stakes are high. Ready Player One becomes a page turner quickly, and definitely deserves the distinction.
Want to read Ready Player One? You can check it out at Hirsh! Just click the cover to be taken to the listing in the catalog. Happy reading!
Becky comes to us from Boston University, with a degree in Information Management and Preservation from the University of Glasgow, Scotland. Here at Hirsh she’ll be running the Reserve collection, but she also has a strong interest in archiving, particularly with digital collections. She also is a photography volunteer for the Nave Gallery of Somerville, and has been recruited as the photographer here at our library.
Becky will be working Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursday – Saturday, so feel free to come say hi! If you have any questions for her regarding the library as a whole or our Reserves collection in particular, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 617.636.2454.
Welcome, Becky. It’s good to have you here!
This July, two of the members of HHSL will be presenting a research poster at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois, and we are excited for them to have this opportunity!
The presenters are Katie Houk, Information Services Librarian, and Kate Thornhill, Collections Management Assistant. The poster is titled “Are Academic Health Sciences Library Facebook Pages Self-Serving?”
They’ll be presenting on Sunday, July 1, from 1:30-2:00 pm. Good luck to them both!
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