This November, the J. Ardis Bell Library was pleased to receive the following submission of a book review from a community member and friend of the library, Pablo Calderon.
Written by Elizabeth Palley and Corey S. Shdaimah, In Our Hands is a well- researched and logically crafted discussion of child care policy in the United States. It addresses a progression of essential topics for understanding how we have arrived at our current child care policy. The book reviews the history and role of interest groups in the development of current U.S. child care policies.
The book provides an analysis of how individual and group interests, values and beliefs have become aligned with child care policies. “The United States was founded on Lockean ideas of liberalism, which included the notion that all people are created equal and have basic natural rights such as the right to social contracts, which should not be infringed upon by government.” (p.23) Many Americans have long believed that individuals should be able to care for their own families and that the place of women is at home. Therefore, child care is seen as an individual problem that each family must resolve on its own.
In contrast, most industrialized societies assume that women care for families and children and may work outside the home. These nations believe family policies are state matters and have developed universal policies to address the need to care for children.
About the reviewer: Pablo F. Calderón is a retired community advocate. He holds a Master’s Degree in Theology from Southern Methodist University and a Master’s in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is a long time resident of Fort Worth, Texas, and is currently a member of the Early Learning Alliance and a board member of SPARC, an initiative to improve the quality of out-of-school-time youth programs.
If you are interested in seeing more of our collection of Guest Book Reviews, stop by the upper level of the NE Library between now and early December. We have several of them on display for you to peruse, along with a short biographical sketch of each reviewer. If you like what you see, you can even pick up a copy of the books right then and there… including In Our Hands !
In Book Review, NE Library, Spotlight on Reviews
Welcome back for another online helping of “Library Love!”
All throughout this season of romance and valentines, we – the staff of your TCC Northeast Campus Library – are sharing some of our own top picks and personal favorites from the Library’s HUGE collection of books and movies, in hopes that you’ll check out a copy and learn to love them as much as we do.
In the last post, we reviewed suggestions from the Computer Learning Center staff… Now let’s see some of the Administrative Team’s favorite titles!
These are the intrepid souls who steer the ship that is the J. Ardis Bell Library. They keep a weather eye on the horizon for any troubled waters around campus, hold us to a steady course in our service to TCC students, and ensure that everything in the Library is ship-shape and running smooth. (Okay, okay… enough with the nautical phrases!) Now let’s look at some book recommendations… Anchors Aweigh! (That was the last one, I promise.)
Suggested by Katy Hill, Library Administrative Assistant:
- The Stand, by Stephen King – an engineered strain of influenza is accidentally unleashed, and 99.4% of the world’s population are lost in the ensuing pandemic crisis. Those who survive are bound together in a post-apocalyptic nightmare world, as battle lines are drawn between the forces of good and evil.
- Persuasion, by Jane Austen – the last novel completed by the author before her death, Persuasion tells the story of Anne Elliott, middle-daughter of a family in financial straits, as she tries to navigate the romantic perils and expectations of English society.
- Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman – The world is supposed to end next Saturday, but there are a few problems: the Antichrist has been misplaced, the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse all ride motorcycles, and the representatives from Heaven and Hell decide that they really do like the human race, after all. How do you stop armageddon?
Suggested by Mark Dolive, Library Director:
- Captain Horatio Hornblower, by C. S. Forester – A compilation of the first three novels in the celebrated series, a junior Royal Navy captain goes on a secret mission to Central America. As the Napoleonic Wars progress, he gains promotion steadily as a result of his skill and daring, despite initial poverty and a lack of influential friends. After surviving many adventures in a wide variety of locales, he rises to become Admiral of the Fleet, a Knight of the Order of Bath, and is named the first Baron Hornblower.
- Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand – This novel depicts a dystopian United States, wherein many of society’s most prominent and successful industrialists abandon their fortunes and the nation itself, in response to aggressive new regulations, causing most vital industries to collapse. The book explores a number of themes from which Rand would subsequently develop the philosophy of Objectivism. In doing so, it expresses the advocacy of reason, individualism, capitalism, and the failures of governmental coercion.
- Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo – This classic generational novel tells the story of Jean Val-Jean, a man convicted of stealing bread to save his starving family in 19th century France, and how he reformed his life, took in an orphaned girl to raise as his own, and the role they played as the events of the June Revolution of 1832 unfolded around them. It has inspired the hit broadway musical, and multiple film adaptations.
- Moll Flanders, by Daniel Defoe – The daughter of a thief, young Moll is placed in a nunnery after the execution of her mother. The actions of an abusive priest lead Moll to rebel as a teenager, escaping to the streets of London, where she becomes a prostitute for the conniving Mrs. Allworthy. With the help of Hibble, Mrs. Allworthy’s servant, Moll holds onto hope, ultimately falling in love with an artist who brings the possibility of romance and happiness.
Suggested by Alex Potemkin, Assistant Library Director:
- Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley – “This book was required reading when I was in high school, and I didn’t read it. Instead, I picked it up as a college undergraduate.” – AP. Hundreds of years in the future, the World Controllers have created an ideal civilization. Its members are productive and content in roles they have been assigned since conception. Government-sanctioned drugs and recreational sex ensure that everyone is a happy, unquestioning consumer, while emotions have been anesthetized and private attachments are considered obscene. Only Bernard Marx is discontented…
- 1984, by George Orwell – “This is another required read that I did not pick up until I wanted to read it for myself. This book is more relevant today than it ever was. More truth than fiction.” – AP. This dystopian classic portrays life in a ‘future time’ when totalitarian government watches over all citizens and directs all activities. Critics say it’s “double-plus good!”
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick – “This was the first PKD book I had ever read, and it absolutely changed the way I looked at life and science fiction.” – AP. Set in a post-apocalyptic future, where millions have died or left our planet behind completely, mega-corporations can build incredibly realistic replicants – copies of animals, birds, and even humans. Fearful of the havoc that artificial humans might wreak, the government bans them from Earth and sends professional bounty hunters to find and kill them… but the androids are fighting back. This novel was the inspiration for the sci-fi movie classic, Blade Runner.
That’s all for now, but check back with us soon! There will be more “Library Love” staff recommendations posted throughout the rest of February.
In Book Review, NE Library, Spotlight on Reviews, TCC
In celebration of Valentine’s Day and this most romantic time of year, we’ve decided to share some “Library Love” with you, our readers … and what is it that we’re so passionate about? (I’m glad you asked.)
Our favorite library books and movies, of course!
All throughout this Valentine’s season, we’ll be posting recommendations from the entire J. Ardis Bell Library team; sharing some of our own top picks and personal favorites, in hopes that you’ll check out a copy and learn to love them as much as we do.
So here it goes… We’re starting off this series of Bibliophilia posts with the staff of the Computer Learning Center (located on the lower floor of the NE Library). These are the technological wizards who are there every day to help our students navigate through software problems and learn to use Blackboard, Microsoft Office, or more specialized computer programs and hardware.
Recommended by Brooke Thompson, CLC Library Specialist:
- Cujo, by Stephen King – the story of a lovable 200 pound Saint Bernard who, when infected with rabies, goes on a terrifying rampage.
- The Celery Stalks at Midnight, by James Howe – third book in the popular children’s series about a vampire rabbit, Bunnicula.
- Band of Brothers, by Stephen Ambrose – the true story of U.S. paratroopers from the 506th, Company E, in World War II. The book that inspired the HBO mini-series.
Recommended by Alex Benitez, CLC Library Specialist:
- Women in Clothes, by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, & Leanne Shapton – a riveting compilation of survey responses, short essays, photographs, and art pieces exploring women’s relationship with clothes.
- Wild, by Cheryl Strayed – After the unexpected death of her mother and it’s life-altering aftermath, 26 year old Cheryl instinctively embarks on a journey to hike the Pacific Crest trail, exploring the extent of her self-reliance.
- Revolutionary Road, by Richard Yates – a spellbinding work of prose, exploring the complicated themes of mediocrity, marriage, and personal satisfaction.
Recommended by Michael Buccieri, Library Technology Manager:
- The Legend of Drizzt series, by R. A. Salvatore – Magic, myth, and monstrous creatures fill this epic saga, set in the world of the Forgotten Realms. Drizzt Do’Urden is a Drow (dark elf) who turned his back on the evil plotting of his subterranean kin, and chose to live in the light of day.
Recommended by Megan Lambert, CLC Library Specialist:
- Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro – “It’s a mix of futuristic sci-fi and romance that I really enjoyed.”
- Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte – “… because modern women should be familiar with at least one thing by the Bronte sisters.”
Recommended by Ashley Roberts, CLC Library Specialist:
- The Divergent Series, by Veronica Roth – In post-apocalyptic Chicago, everyone is divided into five factions, based on their personality dispositions. Sixteen year-old “Tris” is a Divergent – someone who shows aptitude for more than one faction… and that makes her a threat.
- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Viorst – Alexander has a hard time when nothing seems to go his way… Maybe he’ll move to Australia.
- Corduroy, by Don Freeman – the story of a teddy bear, wandering around a department store at night, in search of his lost button. If he finds it, maybe he can be sold and find a home.
That’s all for now, but check back with us soon! There will be more “Library Love” staff recommendations posted throughout the month of February.
In Book Review, NE Library, Spotlight on Reviews, TCC
Review of Ayana Mathis’s The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
Some say that the most important relationship in a child’s life is the one he or she has with their mother. For those
who have memories of their mother being as close to perfection as 1980’s iconic television mom Claire Huxtable, there are stories of intimate bonding. However, for those who have a less perfect and more challenging connection with their mothers, often there is the shadow looming over that relationship of what could have been. Author Ayana Mathis explores the fragility that often marks the tenuous relationship between mothers and children in her masterfully written debut novel The Twelve Tribes of Hattie. Set against the backdrop of the Great Migration, the time period from 1910’s – 1970’s when millions of African Americans left the South for dreams of prosperity in the North, the novel provides a peak into the life of Georgia born Hattie Shepherd, her husband and their eleven children as they struggle to survive in Philadelphia.
Each chapter of this Oprah Book Club 2.0 selection focuses on a specific time in the lives of each of Hattie’s children. The book starts with the riveting and tragic deaths of her two oldest children. Mathis weaves the lives of the dysfunctional family into each chapter showing Hattie’s unsuccessful attempts to process her grief. Hattie takes out her frustration, sadness, anger and hostility out on her surviving children. As a result, each child is impacted by what appears to be the unpredictable outbursts and bizarre behavior from their mother.
In Periodicals Spotlight, Spotlight on Reviews