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Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence 2017 Finalists

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction 2017 Finalists

From ala.org:

2017 WINNER

The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead

In this magnetizing and wrenching saga, Whitehead tells the story of smart and resilient Cora, a young third-generation slave on a Georgia cotton plantation. Certain that the horror will only get worse, she flees with a young man who knows how to reach the Underground Railroad. Each stop Cora makes along the Underground Railroad reveals another shocking and malignant symptom of a country riven by catastrophic conflicts, a poisonous moral crisis, and diabolical violence. Hard-driving, laser-sharp, artistically superlative, and deeply compassionate, Whitehead’s unforgettable odyssey adds a clarion new facet to the literature of racial tyranny and liberation. – ALA.org

 

Moonglow, Michael Chabon

Moonglow unfolds as the deathbed confession of a man the narrator refers to only as “my grandfather.” It is a tale of madness, of war and adventure, of sex and marriage and desire, of existential doubt and model rocketry, of the shining aspirations and demonic underpinnings of American technological accomplishment at mid century, and, above all, of the destructive impact–and the creative power–of keeping secrets and telling lies. – ALA.org

 

Swing Time, Zadie Smith

The unnamed narrator in Smith’s agile and discerning bildungsroman is entranced and provoked by a Fred Astaire dance number in the movie Swing Time. “Swing time” is also a feat her narrator performs as she pivots from the disastrous present back to the past as she tries to understand her plummet by telling her story and that of her childhood best friend, Tracey. With homage to dance as a unifying force, arresting observations, exceptionally diverse and magnetizing characters, and lashing satire, Swing Time is an acidly funny, fluently global, and head-spinning novel about the quest for meaning, exaltation, and love. – ALA.org

 

The Firebrand and the First Lady, Patricia Bell-Scott

Eleanor Roosevelt, born to privilege, prosperity, and power, first crossed paths with Pauli Murray, the granddaughter of a slave struggling against racism and poverty, in 1934 when the First Lady visited an upstate New York facility for unemployed women. Four years later, Murray sent the opening salvo in what became a fervent correspondence that lasted until Roosevelt’s death. Bell-Scott meticulously chronicles their boundary-breaking friendship, telling each remarkable woman’s story within the context of the crises of the times, from ongoing racial violence to WWII and the vicious battle over school integration, creating a sharply detailed and profoundly illuminating narrative. – ALA.org

 

Evicted, Matthew Desmond

Desmond does a marvelous job exposing the harrowing stories of people who find themselves in bad situations, shining a light on how eviction sets people up to fail. He also makes the case that eviction disproportionately affects women (and, worse, their children). This is essential reading for anyone interested in social justice, poverty, and feminist issues, but its narrative nonfiction style will also draw general readers—and will hopefully spark national discussion. – ALA.org

 

Blood at the Root, Patrick Phillips

As current political discourse addresses controversial notions regarding immigrants and race relationships, the events Phillips describes in this harrowing chronicle of racial cleansing in Forsyth County, Georgia, in the early twentieth century feels eerily contemporary and all-too relevant. Although Phillips is an award-winning poet, translator, and professor, he brings a journalist’s crisp perspective to this precise and disquieting account of a reprehensible and under-reported chapter in America’s racial history. – ALA.org

*On order

 

 

 

 

This Just in: New Novels

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Please Do Not Disturb: A Novel

Robert Glancy

A gripping and beautifully observed novel of power, corruption and innocence from the author of Terms & Conditions Charlie, a curious boy with a dangerous Dictaphone habit, eavesdrops on the eccentric guests of the Mirage Hotel, as the African nation of Bwalo prepares for the annual appearance of its Glorious Leader Tafumo. Sean, who’s given his heart (and the best part of his liver) to Bwalo, struggles to write the great African novel – if only his crazed fiancee would stop distracting him. Josef, kingmaker and mythmaker, starts to hear the ominous rattle of skeletons in his closet. Hope, the nurse caring for the King, keeps the old man alive as she mourns her own broken dreams. And storm clouds gather as petty criminal, Jack, smuggles something into Bwalo – to the Mirage Hotel – that will change the lives of all of them for ever…

 

2084: The End of the World

Boualem Sansal

A tribute to George Orwell’s 1984 and a cry of protest against totalitarianism of all kinds, Sansal’s 2084 tells the story of a near future in which religious extremists have established an oppressive caliphate where autonomous thought is forbidden.

“[In 2084] Sansal dared to go much further than I did,” said Michel Houellebecq, the controversial novelist most recently of Submission. 2084 is a cry of freedom, a call to rebellion, a gripping satirical novel of ideas, and an indictment of the religious fundamentalism that, with its hypocrisy and closed-mindedness, threatens our modern democracies and the ideals on which they are founded.

 

The Animators: A Novel

Kayla Rae Whitaker

A funny, heartbreaking novel of friendship, art, and trauma, The Animators is about the secrets we keep and the burdens we shed on the road to adulthood.

“A wildly original novel that pulses with heart and truth . . . That this powerful exploration of friendship, desire, ambition, and secrets manages to be ebullient, gripping, heartbreaking, and deeply deeply funny is a testament to Kayla Rae Whitaker’s formidable gifts. I was so sorry to reach the final page. Sharon and Mel will stay with me for a very long time.”—Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, author of The Nest

 

Amiable with Big Teeth

Claude McKay

The unexpected discovery in 2009 of a completed manuscript of Claude McKay’s final novel was celebrated as one of the most significant literary events in recent years. Building on the already extraordinary legacy of McKay’s life and work, this colorful, dramatic novel centers on the efforts by Harlem intelligentsia to organize support for the liberation of fascist-controlled Ethiopia, a crucial but largely forgotten event in American history. At once a penetrating satire of political machinations in Depression-era Harlem and a far-reaching story of global intrigue and romance, Amiable with Big Teeth plunges into the concerns, anxieties, hopes, and dreams of African-Americans at a moment of crisis for the soul of Harlem—and America.

 

Dark at the Crossing: A Novel

Elliot Ackerman

Haris Abadi is a man in search of a cause. An Arab American with a conflicted past, he is now in Turkey, attempting to cross into Syria and join the fight against Bashar al-Assad’s regime. But he is robbed before he can make it, and is taken in by Amir, a charismatic Syrian refugee and former revolutionary, and Amir’s wife, Daphne, a sophisticated beauty haunted by grief. As it becomes clear that Daphne is also desperate to return to Syria, Haris’s choices become ever more wrenching: Whose side is he really on? Is he a true radical or simply an idealist? And will he be able to bring meaning to a life of increasing frustration and helplessness? Told with compassion and a deft hand, Dark at the Crossing is an exploration of loss, of second chances, and of why we choose to believe–a trenchantly observed novel of raw urgency and power.

 

This is How it Always is: A Novel

Laurie Frankel

This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess.

When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl.

Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.

Laurie Frankel’s This Is How It Always Is is a novel about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it’s about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again, parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts, children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don’t get to keep them forever.

Courier Delivery and LRA Document Delivery Canceled: Tuesday, March 14

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Library courier service and the LRA document delivery service will be canceled today (Tuesday March 14) due to dangerous road conditions and short staffing.

Our apologies for any inconvenience that this creates.

Dear Diary: Women’s Lives in Their Own Words

Monday, March 6th, 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 6:00 pm
Special Collections, Bailey/Howe Library

To celebrate Women’s History Month, Special Collections librarians and Preservation Burlington members will showcase the words of Vermont women who wrote about their experiences attending, working, and teaching at colleges and universities. Drawing from the UVM Libraries manuscripts collection, they will read selections from diaries and letters written by Ellen Hamilton Woodruff, one of UVM’s first female students, UVM Dean of Students Mary Jean Simpson, Genieve Lamson, a Randolph, Vermont woman who attended the University of Chicago, and Katherine Fletcher, who graduated from the Johnson State Normal School. Audience participation is strongly encouraged. Please bring your own journal to read.

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For more information, email uvmsc@uvm.edu or call 656-2138.

Visitor parking information.

Photo: October 26-27 entries in Mary Jean Simpson’s 1937 diary, shortly after she became Dean of Students at UVM.

Libraries Launch Beta Version of New Website

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017


The UVM Libraries invites students, faculty, and staff to explore, search, and provide feedback on its new website, now available for testing. Plans are to release a production version by early summer 2017. While the current site represents Bailey/Howe Library holdings and services, completed releases for Dana Medical Library and Special Collections are planned by Fall 2017.

The new website represents two and half years of internal analysis, working with a local web design firm and the UVM Web Team. The new design uses Drupal, the same open source platform used by the UVM Web Team. Features include a new information architecture, improved navigation and functionality, and responsive to mobile devices.

Your feedback is crucial to the success of the final product. Questions to consider when exploring the site: How inviting is the site? How easy or difficult is it to navigate the new site? When using the site, what are you looking for? How easy is it to understand the information on the new website? How can we make it better? What weaknesses do you see with the new website? What problems did you have using the website? Visit and use the beta version often and provide feedback to libsys@uvm.edu.