Old Mars - It's What We're Reading

2014 A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.

11/23/63 Old Mars
George R.R. Martin, Gardner Dozois, Michael Moorcock and Joe R. Lansdale, editors

In the tradition of Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Old Mars conjurers up the old-style adventure storytelling of going to and discovering the mysteries of Mars. The book is an anthology of stories about Mars, Martians, and the Human equation. Old Mars is reminiscent of The Martian Chronicles and is a tip of the hat to the preceding ages of literary science fiction.

Each story, told with a contemporary twist, adheres to the mystery and wonder that inspired the early authors to write about the red planet. Many of these new stories pay homage to their predecessors, respecting the mythos while simultaneously acknowledging our current understanding of the planet based on our state-of-the-art scientific study of Mars today.

Old Mars prompts its readers to consider just how much of what we know about the planet today will change in the years to come as we learn more about it. The stories in Old Mars are a combination of enjoyable, old-fashioned science fiction fantasy tempered with a contemporary mindset. Readers can immerse themselves in a world of infinite probabilities and improbabilities all the while asking the tantalizing question of: what if?

This book can be found on the First Floor of the Library in the Popular Reading section.

Innocence: a novel - It's What We're Reading

2014 A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.

11/23/63 Innocence: a novel
Dean Kootnz

Innocence is a supernatural thriller that will have you guessing through to the end.

From birth, Addison Goodheart’s mere appearance is enough for people to fear and despise him just by looking at him. Just the sight of his face brings death to his door and compels anyone who sees him to want to kill him. Banished by his mother at age eight, Addison Goodheart finds his way to the big city where he lives out his days beneath it hiding out in the dark tunnels and taking refuge in the central library at night, finding solace amongst its rich collection of books.

There he meets Gwyneth, a mysterious young woman with a dubious history on the run from someone who wants her and everyone she cares for dead. Together they forge a union that goes beyond friendship. They must find a way to survive and stay ahead of those who would do them harm. Their union runs deeper than the tragedies that have scarred their lives in a world where the hour of reckoning is nearly upon them all.

This book can be found on the First Floor of the Library in the Popular Reading section.

New and Improved Discover Service

Discover LogoOver Christmas Break 2013-2014, the library changed Discovery systems. Discover allows you to search across most of our databases and for books in the library.

Discover provides:

  • EBSCO‘s familiar interface (i.e., Academic Search Premier or Business Source Elite)
  • Easy off-campus access to full text with the FindIt!@SJU button
  • Better and more relevant search results
  • Improved MLA formatted citations
  • Topic exploration and Interdisciplinary research
  • Easy article location (even without a full citation)

Two other prominent interdisciplinary resources were also updated over Break.
For more information and video tutorials:

LexisNexis Academic Web of Science

TransAtlantic: a novel - It's What We're Reading

2014 A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.

11/23/63 TransAtlantic
Colum McCann

Colum McCann’s latest novel, TransAtlantic is an homage to the deep ties between Ireland and America over time and space. He recounts three crossings; aviators Alcock and Brown flying across the ocean in 1919, Frederick Douglass traveling to Ireland to raise money for the abolitionist movement in 1863, and George Mitchell’s diplomatic trip in 1998 to mediate a peace accord in Northern Ireland. McCann connects these events through the life and legacy of Lily Duggan, a young Irish servant who is empowered to travel to America to a better life for her children. A beautifully poetic novel.

This book can be found on the First Floor of the Library in the Popular Reading section.

Season’s Readings 2013

The eagerly awaited 2013 edition of the Francis A. Drexel Library’s popular Season’s Readings is now available.

This year’s list is full of interesting books as exciting as previous years.

There are adventure novels, historical perspectives, biographical narratives, and case studies. Pretty much something for everyone.

Peruse the list and get that special someone a great holiday gift, find something for yourself, or simply give the list itself as a gift.

2013 Season’s Readings

For access to previous Season’s Readings lists, click here.

Finals Events and Services at the Library

Check out the end of the semester events and services at the Drexel Library and Post Learning Commons!

Group Study Rooms: Reserve a room in the library for studying or group projects. Call 610-660-1904 or email refhelp@sju.edu to schedule a reservation.

Late Night Write Night: Writing Center Tutors will be available Monday, December 9, from 7 p.m. – midnight in their Learning Commons Satellite Location (room 128). Use this online form to make an appointment.

Extended Hours:
Starting Tuesday, December 10 the Library and Learning Commons will be open 24/7.
LIBRARY WILL CLOSE SATURDAY, December 14 at midnight, and REOPEN at 9am SUNDAY.
Library will close at 7:30pm Dec. 17.

5 Minute Massage: Take a break with a 5-minute massage from a certified sports massage therapist. December 11-13, 8:00-10:00pm

Tolkien's Modern Middle Ages – It's What We're Reading

2013 A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.

11/23/63 Tolkien’s Modern Middle Ages
Jane Chance and Alfred K. Siewers, eds.

This December brings the second installment of The Hobbit to theaters. It is timely to look at the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Most scholarship focuses on the internal aspects of Tolkien mythology and his fictional world. Tolkien’s Modern Middle Ages, however, directs its focus to Tolkien’s often overlooked scholarly works and interests. Though he laid the foundations for Middle Earth in the trenches during the First World War, he continued this side interest while a professor of Old English, Middle English, and philology, where he brought forth lasting translations and studies of core literary and historical works. The essays in Tolkien’s Modern Middle Ages look to Tolkien’s fascination with the medieval world, its languages and peoples, and his inclusion of motifs, language, imagery, and cultural values of this period in his literary works.

These studies cover a wide array of topics and questions. Some look to whether Tolkien really continued the tradition of previous and contemporary authors and artists, including Tennyson and Wagner, in utilizing medieval motifs and themes. Some assess the desire of Tolkien to create his own world that opposed the modern by setting it in opposition to the far distant medieval past; the industrial and mechanical world of Mordor and the Orcs threatens the medieval landscape and culture of the Elves and Hobbits. These scholars expand this inquiry to assess Tolkien’s views of ecology and environmentalism that are potentially displayed in the same medieval versus modern debate; the Ents and Elves protect the forests and natural world while the Orcs tear them down to fuel industry for military expansion.

Did Tolkien simply extend upon Victorian era medieval literary and artistic works? Did he create a new appreciation for medieval cultures through violent comparison with the modern world? Did he seek to wage a larger philosophical battle between the two worlds in an attempt to idealize the medieval, or perhaps simply from nostalgic longing? On the other hand, is Tolkien best read as a spearhead in the development of modern fantasy and science fiction?

This work is interesting reading for anyone interested in Tolkien’s works, medievalists looking to assess the treatment of the past by modern literary works and popular culture, and for those curious about the placement of Middle Earth in the development of the fantasy and science fiction genres.

This book can be found on the Second Floor of the Library. The call number is: PR6039.O32 Z6224 2009.

Thanksgiving Hours

The Post Learning Commons will close earlier on Tuesday and Wednesday the week of Thanksgiving. The Post Academic Center will reopen on Friday, November 29 at 10:00am.

Tues 11/26 8:00am-10:00pm

Wed 11/27 8:00am- 5:00pm

Thur 11/28 CLOSED

Fri 11/29 10:00am-6:00pm

Sat 11/30 10:00am-6:00pm

Sun 12/1 10:00am-2:00am

Mon 12/2 8:00am-2:00am

New Lincoln & Kennedy Display in Post Learning Commons

Our book display to support the symposium “Lincoln and Kennedy, from 1863 to 1963 to 2013: From Civil War to Civil Rights to the Meaning of America” is located on the first floor of the Post Learning Commons.

An all-SJU faculty panel discussion will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and the 50th anniversary of John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s landmark Civil Rights Address. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held on Thursday, Nov. 21, at 4:00 p.m., in the John Cardinal Foley Center on the James J. Maguire ’58 Campus.

“This panel centers on two vital and enduring speeches from two ennobled presidents,” says Saint Joseph’s President C. Kevin Gillespie, S.J. ’72. “Given that we will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address on Nov. 19, and observe the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy on Nov. 22, in the same week, this event is a great teachable moment for our students.”

The interdisciplinary panel draws on faculty expertise from the Departments of History, Political Science, English, and Theology and Religious Studies.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane – It’s What We’re Reading

2013 A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.

11/23/63 The Ocean at the End of the Lane
by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is Neil Gaiman’s first novel for adults in eight years. It’s short, at 182 pages, and difficult to put down. It reads like a short story and left me wanting to spend more time in Gaiman’s mythological and nightmarish world.

Our narrator is an unnamed and friendless 7 year-old boy who prefers reading to people. He plays with his kitten, ignores an annoying younger sister, and immerses himself in adventures that pull him into the pages of his beloved books. This boy is frightened of almost everything, especially adults, with their changing moods and the masks he believes they peel away to reveal their darkest sides. A series of events upend his safe, quiet world and the boy finds himself with his first friend and protector, eleven year-old Lettie Hempstock,a girl who may be as old as time. The boy’s curiosity and disobedience result in the unleashing of a monster bent on controlling and destroying his family.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a story about the vulnerability and defenselessness of children. Beautifully written, Gaiman draws you into a world of memory, mystery and magic.

This book can be found in the Popular Reading Collection on the first floor of the Library.

Saint Josephs University