Walden is perhaps best known for her Eisner
award winning memoir Spinning. After Spinning was released, she worked on what she was calling “Space
Book,” which later became On a Sunbeam.
Much of it was completed while vacationing alone in Japan. She posted each
chapter as she finished it online, and once she was done it was published as a
print book. You can read it online here
(the About page has a lot of
good info about its creation!). So far, it’s been listed as a Los
Angeles Times Book Prize winner and got an excellent review
in The New Yorker.
Summer is a beautiful season in the northeast, and the
library staff loves to make the most of the sunny weather and the annual events
unique to our region.
Explore the great outdoors:
Matt Sylvain, systems and digital services librarian, is a
fan of kayaking the Slocum
River or hiking in the White Mountains (such as in the Pemigewasset
Wilderness). Kari Mofford, undergraduate & user services librarian,
likes to walk or read at Duxbury
Beach, and Olivia Piepmeier, arts & humanities librarian, recommends
nearby Horseneck Beach. Lorraine Heffernan, business & economics librarian,
suggests enjoying time out on the ocean on a whale-watching
Experience local festivals:
Special events abound in the summer. Judy Farrar, archives
& special collections librarian, notes that the Barnstable
County Fair (July 22-28 in Falmouth) offers a fun Demolition Derby. She,
Natalie Ferreira, learning commons, and Karen Tavares, library administration,
all suggest the Feast
of the Blessed Sacrament in New Bedford (August 1-4). Both Maureen
McDevitt, access services, and Joanne Garfield, acquisitions, recommend the
inexpensive and hugely popular New
Bedford Folk Festival (July 6-7).
Take in some culture:
Lorraine is a veritable font of information about the local
cultural scene. She suggests enjoying some Gilbert & Sullivan at the College
Light Opera Company in Falmouth and picnicking at Westport Winery’s Friday
Music Series. Prefer a movie? Smithfield, Rhode Island, still has a
drive-in theater, the Rustic
Tri View Drive In, where Hilary Kraus, nursing & health librarian,
enjoys the occasional current double-feature (her favorites are retro weekends,
like the time they showed Jaws & Jurassic Park). She also recommends you
catch a full lighting of Waterfire
in downtown Providence.
Don’t forget to eat!
Olivia is a big fan of consuming oysters al fresco, and
Lorraine notes that if you want to spend lavishly, you can reserve a table on
weekend evenings at Just
Right Farm for a local farm-to-table experience. Spending time in nearby
Rhode Island? Hilary loves getting a huge scoop of ice cream at Sunshine
Creamery in Rumford.
Travel farther afield:
Massachusetts is marvelous in summer, but don’t forget other
nearby destinations. Olivia enjoys long weekends in Vermont. Need something to
read on your trip? Check out the Book
Barn in Connecticut; Hilary goes at least twice a year. Susan Raidy-Klein,
collection development & acquisitions librarian, suggests the Lenox, in the
Berkshires, where you can spread a blanket on the lawn at Tanglewood,
summer home of the Boston Symphony, or enjoy a theater performance at Shakespeare
The Science Fiction Book Club’s second comic of the summer
is Woman World
Dhaliwal. Woman World
provides a look at the lives of a community of women after men have become
extinct. The art and use of the comic medium are relatively simple, which
provides room for strong comedic timing and reflection on what it might be like
to exist in this world.
While many “graphic novels” get their start as
stereotypical, weekly or monthly floppy comic books, some begin on the internet
in a format known as “webcomics.”
While Woman World did get its start
on the internet, its start is unusual as it didn’t begin on a website as much as it did on an app: Instagram. Dhaliwal, an
animator by trade, started this daily comic after a show she spent three years
developing for Nickelodeon didn’t make it past the pilot. Friends suggested she
start a project just for herself and she was inspired by humorous signs at the
Women’s March and the nonfiction book, Adam’s Curse: A
Future Without Men. She posted panels daily on Instagram and it
became a hit. She soon signed a deal for a print book. You can read more about
the creation in this
interview or listen
to this interview.
The Science Fiction Book Club is preparing for a
comic-filled summer! First on our list is Here
McGuire. Have you ever heard the phrase “if these walls could talk”?
The concept of Here is just that, but
a little less anthropomorphic. Here
places you, the reader, in one spot throughout time to witness the myriad of
things that occurred (and will occur) there. Each set of pages may take you to
one time or many with McGuire’s unique approach to the basic mechanics of what
makes a comic. Don’t let this scare you away if you’re not a “comics person!”
There’s not one way to read this book, as suggested by this Wired article (maybe avoid
reading it if you really want to jump into the book with no expectations).
The Here that we’re reading started in 1989 in the renowned comics magazine, RAW, edited by Maus author Art Spiegelman and his wife, New Yorker art editor, Françoise Mouly. In RAW, it was a 6 page comic strip that totally rocked the comics world and made an immediate impression on many like Chris Ware. Ten years later, McGuire signed a contract for an expanded version but struggled to figure out how to do it. Various other projects took his time and attention away, and another ten years later a fellowship at the New York Public Library gave him the chance to work on it. This Publishers Weekly interview will give you more information about the book’s history.
You can find Here
at your local public library or through interlibrary
loan. If you’re feeling daring, you can buy the e-book for a
completely different experience (select
the e-book option to see the various retailers).
We look forward to chatting with you about Here on Thursday, June 13th at 12pm in
The Science Fiction Book Club’s last voyage into alternate
history this semester will be withDread
Nationby Justina Ireland. This
time we’ll be reading about more familiar soil, as this book takes place in the
aftermath of the Civil War…except this one involved zombies. In an interview
for the cover-release of the book, Ireland described it as being “about
friendship, survival, racism, and zombies.”
Dread Nation is
far from being Ireland’s first book, but it has garnered much attention since
its release in April 2018. It made The New
York Times bestseller list for Young
Adult Hardcover books and received several starred reviews from
publications such as Publishers
Weekly and Kirkus
The Science Fiction Book Club’s second jump into alternate
history will be His Majesty’s Dragon
Novik. In this version of the Napoleonic Wars,
dragons are an integral part of warfare. That part is fantasy, but the book is
still very much grounded in politics, history, and combat.
Novik is an award-winning author most recently known for Uprooted and Spinning Silver.
His Majesty’s Dragon was her first
published book. Two of the sequels, Throne of Jade
and Black Powder War
were released in the months following His
Majesty’s Dragon. The three books together won Novik a Locus Award in 2007
Novel. His Majesty’s Dragon
was also nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Novel
You can find His
Majesty’s Dragon at your local public library or through interlibrary
We look forward to chatting with you about His Majesty’s Dragon on Thursday, March
21st at 2pm in Library 314.
Clean Out Your Bookcase Day is today—February 20, 2019!
The Claire T. Carney Library
would love to have your donations for our Read and Return Collection.
We maintain a fun/non-required reading collection (fiction … beach reads … or interesting light non-fiction) in the Library Living Room and the 2nd floor lecture room hallway. These books are donated to us for students — and the rest of the UMassD Community — to borrow on the honor system. No formal checkouts needed … we just ask that you return a book when you finish it. We need to replenish our selection and are seeking donations of gently used books fitting the description. If you have some things you’d like to donate, please bring your books to the Library Circulation Desk.
It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air! Do you have
a favorite literary love story? Do you swoon over Pride and Prejudice,
or do you prefer To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before? Is Carry On
the book for you, or can you not live without The Princess Bride? Share
the title that speaks to your heart on one of our paper hearts in
the Library Living Room all this week!
I have been birding — looking at, listening to, and identifying birds — since I was a kid. Though it once seemed like something I only shared with folks my parents’ age, I am seeing more and more kids and young adults outside, binoculars in hand. For a lot of us, birding is a way to interact with nature by watching these little winged creatures interact with it, too. It gets us outside and allows us to take a break from studying or working, or from just sitting on the couch mindlessly scrolling through our phones. For me, it’s a way to respectfully enjoy the outdoors. You have to stay quiet, keep a safe distance, and do your best not to disturb the birds or their habitat. It keeps me in constant awe of the world and the creatures with whom we share it.
Here on the UMassD
campus, we are pretty lucky, habitat-wise. We have trees, brush, fields, and
even a pond. This allows for all sorts of birds to stop by, nest, or winter
over. Yes, winter! Though winter can easily get the best of our happiness with
its short days, cold weather, and general lack of color, many birds still call
New England home. Walking through campus, I hear black-capped chickadees,
Northern cardinals, white-breasted nuthatches, dark-eyed juncos, and downy
woodpeckers. Not to mention both American and fish crows, and those pesky
Canada geese that block Ring Road whenever they feel like it (okay, I don’t
love those guys). I have seen red-tailed hawks swoop by the library windows and
turkey vultures soaring high over the campus center while herring gulls warm
themselves on the roof. One of my favorite year-round birds, cedar waxwings,
congregate in large groups on winter berry trees, the flashes of yellow on
their tails brightening even the dullest of days. It’s a nice reminder that we
are not alone in the cold, and that life can thrive, even when the temperature
dips below 30.
Though birds are
feeding and flying throughout the day, they are most active in the early
morning hours. So after your next all nighter, on your way home, take a deep
breath and an extra few minutes to look for or listen to some brave little
songbirds who are making the best of their winter habitat, just like you are.
Then, by all means, go to bed!
If you are interested in learning more about birds and birding, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a fantastic website (https://www.allaboutbirds.org/) and a free app called Merlin Bird ID, which can help you identify birds based on your location and description of their appearance. The library also has some guides that birders, beginner to advanced, will find useful:
Originally, I am from Long Island, New York. Fun fact, New Yorkers hardly ever say “I’m from New York” without being more specific because otherwise, the follow-up question is “New York City?” and disappointing people with a “no” reply is a bummer.
Where did you go to school and what did you major in?
I did my undergraduate work at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. I majored in English Literature, focusing on Shakespeare, and minored in European History. I have both U.S. and Canadian citizenship, so getting to live in Montreal, where my dad grew up, was a wonderful experience. My master’s degree in Library and Information Science is from Simmons University, where I focused on academic librarianship, especially reference and instruction.
Do you have any hobbies that aren’t librarianish?
I’m not sure where this falls on the librarianish spectrum, but my favorite thing to do in my spare time is go out birdwatching. I know plenty of non-librarians who love it, but it also involves identifying and categorizing things, so it may count! I also love to cook and am trying to teach myself how to bake bread.
What are you looking forward to this spring semester?
I will be working with 10 different English 102 classes, and I’m excited to meet so many new students and help to start developing their academic research skills. Since I’m still relatively new, we’ll be doing a lot of learning together, which is my favorite kind of learning.
If you had to give one piece of advice to students, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! My job is to help you do your best work and feel comfortable researching, and I love it.
How can someone contact you if they need help with research?