Winter Break Reading

recommended-reading-headerIt is no secret, most people who work in a library love to read. Since we have a few weeks off from school, the VC/UHV Library team would like to recommend some AWESOME books for you to read during the winter break.

  • And the Mountain Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
  • Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou
  • March by John Lewis
  • The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde
  • Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie
  • Maddaddam Trilogy: Oryx & Crake; The Year of the Flood; and Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood
  • Skipping Christmas by John Grisham [audiobook]
  • Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
  • Down the Long Hills by Louis L’Amour
  • The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone [print and audiobook]
  • A Book of Christmas Stories by Charles Dickens
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
  • Naruto. Vol. 1. The tests of the Ninja by Masashi Kishimoto
  • Hercule Poirot’s Christmas: A Holiday Mystery by  Agatha Christie
  • Benediction by Kent Haruf

The Princess Bride (bk rvw)

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

I must admit my astonishment last week when a friend admitted that not only had he not read The Princess Bride, but had not even seen the movie! He defended himselpbridef by saying that the movie was a “chick flick”. Not.

Give yourself a reality break this holiday, read the book and watch the movie. The book is an eccentric, satirical, swashbuckling fairy tale with the voice of the author interjecting his opinions about how the narrative is progressing. The movie has been elevated to cult status with its own website (even though it was in the late 1980’s). It is also probably one of the most quoted films ever. Inconceivable, you say? Read and watch – you won’t be disappointed.

William Goldman, who wrote both the book and the screenplay, won Academy Awards for best screenplay for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President’s Men. He also won a Hugo Award for the screenplay of The Princess Bride.

The library owns both the movie and the book.

Survival (bk rvw)

The recent extreme weather in the North called to mind a book my coworker ran across a little over a year ago. “Survival” is a field manual published by the Department of the Army, and is filled with all sorts of skills and tips on, you guessed it, surviving in extreme conditions. We laughed at the information, but found it really fascinating.

Department-of-The-Army-USA-LogoDid you know you can milk a dead walrus for up to 16 quarts of milk? Did you know that same dead walrus will produce the same amount of milk an hour later?

If you are any kind of fan of the outdoors, whether its hiking, fishing, skiing, or mountain climbing, this book will offer some valuable if not amusing information on how to get safe drinking water, which plants are okay to eat for food, and how to build fires.

I bet you didn’t know that if you are in the water and a shark attack seems imminent, you should make a lot of commotion to scare the shark away, slap the water to create noise, roar or yell underwater, and kick or hit the shark in the gills (apparently hitting the shark in the nose is more likely to hurt you then the shark).

Are you into survivalism? Have you read “The Hunger Games”? Are you an avid fan of “The Walking Dead”? This book will teach you how to make traps for catching food, shelters out of a poncho, and how to make water potable.

I’ve never been stranded on a deserted island, but I’m pretty sure if Tom Hanks had a copy of this book, he wouldn’t have been talking to Wilson for so long in “Castaway”. The book has directions on how to make a raft, how to right said raft if it gets tipped over, what the wave patterns are on islands (so you don’t keep getting blown off shore when you are trying to land), and how to send and read aircraft signals.

This book is definitely worth reading. If you’re interested in checking it out, it is housed with our U.S. Document collection.

Fun with Math

Blackboard-Equations-728x242Math can be an extremely scary subject for students. Well, let’s face it – there are a lot of people who don’t like math. And I’ll admit that I’m one of them. Even though math is a scary subject for me, I have to admit there are some really cool things that can be explained with math. Recently, the VC/UHV Library acquired some new books and videos to show you about the neat ways math can be applied or used to explain the world.

  • How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg
  • Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World by Amir Alexander
  • 21 [DVD]
  • Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data by Charles Wheelan
  • The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh
  • The Fractalist: Memoir of a Scientific Maverick by Benoit B. Mandelbrot
  • The Glorious Golden Ratio by Alfred S. Posamentier and Ingmar Lehmann
  • Good Will Hunting [DVD]
  • The Secrets of Triangles: A Mathematical Journey by Alfred S. Posamentier and Ingmar Lehmann
  • The Cult of Pythagoras by Alberto A. Martinez
  • Moneyball [DVD]
  • The Irrationals: A Story of the Numbers You Can’t Count On by Julian Havil

Breast Cancer Awareness Month


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. There are a lot of resources available for you to learn more about breast cancer. Check out the following…

Books at the VC/UHV Library

  • Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Williams
  • Living Well Beyond Breast Cancer: A Survivor’s Guide for When Treatment Ends and the Rest of Your Life Begins by Marisa C. Weiss
  • The Everything Health Guide to Living with Breast Cancer: An Accessible and Comprehensive Resource for Women  by Lucia Carvalho
  • Cancer Vixen: A True Story by Marisa Acocella Marchetto
  • The Breast Cancer Book: What You Need to Know to Make Informed Decisions by Ruth H. Grobstein

Online Videos at the VC/UHV Library (available off-campus to current VC & UHV students, faculty, and staff)

  • The Girlfriend’s Guide to Breast Cancer, One Year Later
  • Breast Cancer in Young Women
  • Breast Reconstruction
  • Laser Light for Breast Cancer Imaging
  • Mammography


America Again (bk rvw)

America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t               

This title by the ever popular Stephen Colbert has a lot of the similar antics and comedy that is found on his television show, The Colbert Report. However, 9781607889694something that he does in this audiobook, which is not found as often on his show, is impersonations. He does them really well, and often times it is easy to forget that it is him. The book offers a lot of humorous explanations about things that were going on in the country a few years ago. It gives overly exaggerated examples of people and what their viewpoints would be regarding those issues. Some of them are performed by Colbert, others are performed by guest readers. They are all pretty funny, theatrical, and what brought spark to the book for me.

Overall, I enjoyed listening to this audiobook, but I did feel like it was missing something at times. Perhaps he does better when he has the energy of the audience to feed off of? Nonetheless, it was still pretty humorous, and definitely worth listening to!

The audiobook America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t is available for checkout on the second floor of the library, in the Media Center.

Review written by Allyson H.

If I Stay (bk rvw)

I admit I’ve cried with books before. Time Traveler’s Wife. Book of Lost Things. Stolen Child. The last Harry Potter. But I’ve never cried through at least half a book before I read If I Stay by Gayle Forman. 

Forman’s new YA novel is about 17-year-old Mia, an accomplished cellist, and her family–Mom, Dad and younger brother Teddy. After a tragic accident where Mia is severely injured, she realizes she has the power to choose whether to stay or to go. It’s hard to say more without spoilers, but we see Mia’s life through her memories and the family and friends who rally around her during this time. 

The book is a fairly quick read (it’s over sooner than you think because the last portion is discussion) and has one pondering

the same question: what would I choose?  


Women’s Equality Day

On August 26 each year, we celebrate Women’s Equality Day. August 26 is the anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment. We observe Women’s Equality Day not only to commemorate granting women the right to vote, but also to call attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full

To learn more about the 19th Amendment and the amazing contributions women made to society, check out these books from the VC/UHV Library:

  • Women’s Suffrage by Jeff Hill
  • A Voice of Our Own: Leading American Women Celebrate the Right to Vote
  • My Beloved World: By Sonia Sotomayor (print and audiobook)
  • One Half the People: The Fight for Woman Suffrage by Anne Firor Scott
  • The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis
  • Women Astronauts: Aboard the Shuttle by Mary Virginia Fox
  • I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai (print and audiobook)
  • The Political Thought of Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Women’s Rights and the American Political Traditions by Sue Davis
  • Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family by Condoleezza Rice
  • The Majesty of the Law: Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice by Sandra Day O’Connor
  • Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony (DVD)
  • Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Officer, Nurse, Woman: The Army Nurse Corps in the Vietnam War by Kara Dixon Vuic
  • Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965
  • The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection by Nikki Giovanni (audiobook)

Duty (bk rvw)

Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War by Robert M. Gates

While I don’t agree with all of Robert Gates views outlined in this book, his heart and dedication to the people who serve our country is undeniable. Duty at times reads a bit like a report rather than a memoir. However Gates successfully illustrates his great Gates-Jacket-697x102411compassion for the troops, dedication to the department of defense, and willingness to work across party lines. I have a new appreciation for what our troops do to defend our country because of this book. I was happy to see that during his time in office, he worked so diligently to remind others in government that our troops are people, not just numbers. They are young men and women putting their lives on the line so that we can enjoy freedom. Their needs should be met.

I think my favorite parts dealt with the individual stories of soldiers that he had dealings with, as well as those moments that he spent behind closed doors with either President Bush or  President Obama. I also was interested to read about the meetings with leaders from other countries in the Middle East, or in Russia, or some of the Asian countries. The comparison between the two presidents (Bush and Obama), how they worked from within the White House, as well as the personal meetings he had with them, were also interesting bits of the overall story. He had far more praise for Obama than I expected him to have. But there was some airing of complaints; I don’t think they are all that different than most of the complaints that the country has with Obama now.

While this book is a long read, and probably could have had several things cut – reading to the end was worth it. I hope you’ll take the time to check it out. It is available in print, or audiobook at the VC/UHV Library.

Review written by Allyson H.

Summer Reading

You’re busy. Reward yourself by taking time each day to open a book and explore the world through reading.

  • A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki80ba698508f76288e82c306520908022
  • The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan
  • Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach
  • State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (audiobook)
  • A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • I am Malala: The Girl who Stood up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban (print and audiobook)
  • Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
  • The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 by Rick Atkinson
  • The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
  • Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
  • Double Down: Game Change 2012 by Mark Halperin16158542
  • And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (print and audiobook)
  • The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel Brown
  • The Art Of Fielding by Chad Harbach
  • The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
  • Duty: Memoirs of a Sectary at War by Robert Gates (audiobook)

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