Summer reading: Two Weeks in November

Book cover for Two Weeks in NovemberTwo Weeks in November: The Astonishing Inside Story of the Coup That Toppled Mugabe
Douglas Rogers

Everyone who thinks the connections we form early in life will not be useful later on will revise their perspective after reading this book. In a fascinating and almost real-time narration, Douglas Rogers tells the story of how Zimbabwe’s then Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa came to rely heavily on his connections to escape the country after falling out with and being fired by his mentor and boss — Robert Mugabe. Mnangagwa activated his connections from his days in the Rhodesian bush war, contacts who helped him escape to Mozambique through a landmine-infested region under the cover of darkness.

But Mnangagwa’s story of becoming a fugitive overnight is just half of the story. After Mnangagwa was safely out of Zimbabwe, his connections established a command center in South Africa with a satellite center in Harare being manned by his military loyalists. These command centers worked the media, diplomacy, street protests, impeachment proceedings on Robert Mugabe, and prepared the ground for a triumphant return of their man. With ultimate precision, the plan worked. The people protested in the streets, the military drove tanks to support the mass protests, Parliament started impeachment proceedings, and before they could debate the impeachment, Mugabe resigned. Just like that, Emmerson Mnangagwa’s connections had not only kept him safe, but they had elevated their man to the highest office of the land. Rogers’ book is indeed a masterpiece that shows the power of building connections!

BRIAN TAFADZWA MAROMBEDZA
Class of 2020
Political economy major

This book is part of the 2020 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!


New in OverDrive eBooks and Audiobooks

OverDrive is a UC Berkeley Library service for borrowing ebooks and audiobooks. You can access books online, download them to a device, or read them on an ereader such as Kindle. OverDrive is available to current UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff. How it works: Simply log in with your CalNet ID, and you can start borrowing!

You can also download the Libby by OverDrive app to access OverDrive from your mobile device. For more information, visit the OverDrive help guide.

Check out some of the new arrivals here:



Summer reading: The Gene

Book cover for The GeneThe Gene: an Intimate History
Siddhartha Mukherjee

There are no greater connectors between human beings, our families, our ancestors, and even our futures than genes. We all know the basic biological facts about DNA and evolution, but this book skillfully connects ancient assumptions about heritability with modern techniques of recombination to gently expand that common knowledge. Like all great works of popular science, Siddhartha Mukherjee makes you feel like you understand, in 592 pages, a subject so complex that its development has spanned (and is likely to continue to span) literally all of human history.

AMETHYST FRECH
Class of 2020
Legal Studies major

This book is part of the 2020 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!

 


Summer reading: Normal People

Book cover for Normal PeopleNormal People
Sally Rooney

Are you the same person that you were in high school? This captivating, highly nuanced work about two young adults in County Sligo, Ireland, explores how connections are made, how relationships evolve, and how they are stress-tested over time. If the “It’s Complicated” relationship setting were a novel, this would be it.

AMETHYST FRECH
Class of 2020
Legal Studies major

This book is part of the 2020 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!


Read at home: New in OverDrive for May

OverDrive is a UC Berkeley Library service for borrowing ebooks and audiobooks. You can access books online, download them to a device, or read them on an ereader such as Kindle. OverDrive is available to current UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff. How it works: Simply log in with your CalNet ID, and you can start borrowing!

You can also download the Libby by OverDrive app to access OverDrive from your mobile device. For more information, visit the OverDrive help guide.

Check out some of May’s new arrivals here:



Read the 2020 Pulitzer Prize Winners

Take a break from studying and peruse our online collections of the esteemed works that have either won or are the runner-up for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize. From categories ranging from fiction to poetry, there’s something for everyone.



New ebooks from Digitalia Hispánica

For the most current and relevant publications from Latin America and Spain, ebooks are not always the first format choice, however we continue to build up the Library’s digital holding as funding permits. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, collaboration among librarians has taken on a new dimension as we work together to provide access to digital and digitized library resources like never before. 

With joint support from the Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences divisions this year, we selected 550 ebooks on a broad range of topics and disciplines in early January of this year. Part of an annual collaboration over the past three years, these digital monographs are brought to us from one of Spain’s most important vendors for ebooks—Digitalia Hispánica. Below we’ve highlighted a few of these newly acquired ebooks from publishers like Arte Público Press, CSIC, Fondo de Cultura Económica, Iberoamericana Vervuert, LOM, Páginas de Espuma, Renacimiento and more.

To browse the entire list of more than 2,600 Digitalia ebooks in Berkeley’s collection, search OskiCat by the handle “Digitalia e-books.”

Liladhar Pendse, Librarian for Caribbean and Latin America Studies Collections
Claude Potts, Librarian for Romance Language Collections

 

 


Summer reading: Continental Divide

Book cover for Continental DivideContinental Divide
Alex Myers

Making connections is a big part of the story: The narrator/protagonist, Ron, is a Harvard student, recently out as trans, who heads out West to break his familiar connections and to establish himself (mostly to himself) as a man — to make connections with new people who will only know him as he is, without his history. There is, of course, much adventure: romance, danger, new friendships — some humbling, some exhilarating — as connections are made and as Ron learns he cannot and should not fully sever his old connections.

JULIE ALLEN
AP Analyst
College of Engineering

This book is part of the 2020 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!


Summer reading: Becoming

Book cover for BecomingBecoming
Michelle Obama

This book is all about connection — Michelle Obama writes about her upbringing and how connections to her family and to her South Side Chicago neighborhood shaped her and her worldview; she writes about how her connection to her husband, Barack, changed her life and shaped it in a completely different way than she expected; and, finally, how her years in the White House connected her to America and its peoples in new and important ways (for her and for us). It’s a great read, and she’s an insightful, honest, funny, and courageous person. Five stars!

ANN GLUSKER
Sociology, Demography, & Quantitative Research Librarian

This book is part of the 2020 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!


Trial: Literary Studies

Until July 16, the Library has trial access to Literary Studies, a digital archive of literary manuscripts, rare printed works, and personal papers of a range of leading literary figures.

Highlights include:

  • Holograph copies and early editions of books by George Eliot, including several volumes of the seminal work of English literature Middlemarch
  • Autograph manuscript of The Ring and the Book and several early editions of Robert Browning’s poetry
  • Personal papers, literary manuscripts and correspondence of Charlotte, Maria and Emily Brontë
  • Manuscripts and correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, including early draft versions and corrected proofs of Walden, or Life in the Woods

PDF download options are not available during the trial.