An Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month Reading List

Asian Pacific American heritage Month a Contemporary Reading List
by Taylor Follett

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which means that federal organizations such as the Library of Congress, the National Parks Service, and the Smithsonian Institution, among others, join together to acknowledge and honor the many generations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who make up an essential part of America. However, you don’t have to be a member of a federal organization to join in—and, as always, we at the library love to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by reading!

Interested in learning more about Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month? Check out the official website here. Happy reading!



Summer Reading: “46 Books by Women of Color to Read in 2018”

Electric Lit logo

“46 Books by Women of Color to Read in 2018”
R.O. Kwon
Electric Literature, Dec. 26, 2017

At the end of last year, the novelist R.O. Kwon put together this excellent list of books by women of color that were slated to be published in 2018. It includes all sorts of writers I regularly try to draw inspiration and perspective from. In her headnote that precedes the list, Kwon urges us: “Let’s read more broadly; let’s try inhabiting one another’s wildly varied, entirely human points of view.”

This book is part of the 2017 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!


Summer reading: The Idiot

The Idiot book cover

The Idiot
Elif Batuman

This novel follows Selin throughout her freshman year at Harvard University, eventually leading to the summer after that pivotal year, in which she travels to Europe to participate in an English-language teaching program. Selin is a student of language and literature, and while there’s a strong literary bent to the book, it taps into so much more. It’s about crushes and roommates and first love and misunderstandings and emailing and being 18 and weird. It’s about first beers and walking around in the mornings with someone new, and all the small things that sometimes outweigh the big ones.

The book isn’t so much about a single moment of discovery, but rather the series of discoveries that make up everyday life as a young adult. These range from the mundane to the profound, and can be painfully relatable. Selin navigates a world familiar to most university students, in the strange liminal space of becoming who you’re supposed to be. It’s funny and nostalgic and totally engrossing.

This book is part of the 2017 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!


New Books Added To The Graduate Services Collection In May

Plays : 10

Plays: 10: DEA, The Testament Of This Day, The Price Of One, The Angry Roads, The Hungry Bowl by Edward Bond with an introduction by the author

The messages we send : social signals and storytelling

The Messages We Send: Social Signals And Storytelling by G.R.F. Ferrari

Telling it like it wasn't : the counterfactual imagination in history and fiction

Telling It Like It Wasn’t: The Counterfactual Imagination In History And Fiction by Catherine Gallagher

Acoustic properties radio, narrative, and the new neighborhood of the Americas

Acoustic Properties: Radio, Narrative, And The New Neighborhood Of The Americas by Tom McEnaney

Not saved : essays after Heidegger

Not Saved: Essays After Heidegger by Peter Sloterdijk translated by Ian Alexander Moore and Christopher Turner

A good comb : the sayings of Muriel Spark

A Good Comb: The Sayings Of Muriel Spark edited by Penelope Jardine

The courage of hopelessness : a year of acting dangerously

The Courage Of Hopelessness: A Year Of Acting Dangerously by Slavoj Zizek


Children’s Book Week 2018: a Nostalgic Reading List

a children's book week inspired reading list

The 99th annual Children’s Book Week is April 30-May 6, 2018! The longest running literacy initiative in the country, Children’s Book Week is hosted by Every Child a Reader and the Children’s Book Council (CBC) in order to encourage literacy and a love of reading in children.

Most adults who love reading can trace that love of reading back to their childhood. Use Children’s Book Week as an opportunity to revisit the stories that helped shape you into the reader you are today! Here are just a few of the most famous classic children and young adult books guaranteed to evoke childlike happiness, inspiration, and nostalgia in grown-up readers:

 

If you’re looking for more books to read in honor of Children’s Book Week, check out this round-up of books for ideas for kids, teens, and readers of all ages.

Enjoy the books and never forget the child-like magic of reading!



Summer reading: Stealing Buddha’s Dinner

Stealing Buddha's Dinner book cover

Stealing Buddha’s Dinner
Bich Minh Nguyen

One of the first images Nguyen relates in her memoir, Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, is of her being mesmerized by the daughter of her host family, Heather Heidenga, reaching into a canister of Pringles and shoving a handful into her mouth.

This “American” memory is the start to the story of her family’s immigration from Vietnam to Michigan in 1975 and her desire to fit into her white suburban community. Instead of her grandmother’s traditional Vietnamese dishes, or her Mexican-American stepmother’s lack of interest in cooking, she longs for Toll House cookies made by Jennifer Vander Wal’s mother, or Mrs. Jansen’s blueberry muffins, made with Jiffy mix. Her imagination carries her into her books she is so fond of reading, eating salt pork (or bacon in her case) just like Laura in Little House on the Prairie, or connecting with Ramona Quimby, who also had to eat boring snacks and resented her blond, pretty neighbor.

Through this coming of age story, we can relate to Nguyen’s struggle with being an outsider. But through her memories, it is her uniqueness that ultimately defines her identity, and her voice is found in this otherness that we all too often try to avoid.

This book is part of the 2017 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!


May 3: Lunch poems featuring student readings

The Morrison LibraryThursday, May 3
12:10 p.m. – 12:50 p.m.
Morrison Library in Doe Library
Admission Free

One of the year’s liveliest events, the student reading includes winners of the following prizes: Academy of American Poets, Cook, Rosenberg, and Yang, as well as students nominated by Berkeley’s creative writing faculty, Lunch Poems volunteers, and representatives from student publications.


Summer reading: My Twentieth Century Evening and Other Small Breakthroughs

My Twentieth Century Evening book cover

My Twentieth Century Evening and Other Small Breakthroughs
Kazuo Ishiguro

In his 2017 Nobel Lecture in Literature, My Twentieth Century Evening and Other Small Breakthroughs, Kazuo Ishiguro recounts his childhood when he moved in 1960 with his parents from Japan to England, where they were the only Japanese family in the town where they settled. Looking back, he is amazed that although it was less than 20 years after the end of WWII, the English community accepted them with “openness and instinctive generosity.” His identity is shaped by this openness as he ventures into his writing, where he surprisingly starts to emotionally construct his own idea of Japan.

This emotional construct, he comes to realize, is due to the importance of relationships — relationships that “move us, amuse us, anger us, surprise us” — and due to finding meaning in the “small, scruffy moments” that seemingly allow writers to be vulnerable in experiencing the unknown and the elusive and in finding meaningful exchanges through human encounters.

His hope is for us not to be complacent, but to embrace diversity, to include many voices and be open to new ideas — to listen. What starts out as his appeal to literature and writers is also an appeal to combat “dangerously increasing division,” reminding us of his first encounter in England, of openness and generosity.

This book is part of the 2017 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!


2018 Pulitzer Prize: Get Ready to Read!

Read 2018 Pulitzer Prize winners at the library

The 2018 Pulitzer Prize awards have been announced, and we at the Library have the books ready for your reading pleasure. With this year’s literary winners, hear about a failed novelist’s world-spanning quest, a dialogue about human connection, and a lyrical exploration of the human voice and body:

And, of course, the finalists provide wonderful reads:

Check out the Pulitzer Prize Website for more winners, and happy reading!



2018 Bay Area Book Festival is coming up!

bay area book festThe Fourth Annual Bay Area Book Fest is fast approaching! On Saturday, April 28th and Sunday, April 29th, writers and book enthusiasts will flock to downtown Berkeley to discuss and celebrate literature. Get up to date before the festival comes to town. Try these books by some of the featured authors:

Happy reading and enjoy the book festival!


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