Getting Book Reviews And Why They’re Important

Don’t forget book reviews! Most databases will allow you to select book reviews as a source type. Reason: find out a book’s reputation, any hidden context, its significance among experts, and any problems with the book. Most authors are pretty persuasive and you need a second opinion.

Be sure to limit results to “review” or “book review,” depending on the interface.

Complete list of book review databases here

Favorites:

New York Times archives is a good option for nonacademic books published before 2006.

JSTOR is another good one for many subjects.

Wilson OmniFile FullText. A good grabbag. You can limit it to search “book reviews” by a particular discipline.

These are not your only options but are some of the best. You can always check your favorite database to see if it has book reviews.

Featured Author: Michel Houellebecq (The Elementary Particles)

Michel Houellebecq books here.

A good introduction from this article:

Michel Houellebecq is, simply, a satirist. He likes to take what’s happening now and imagine what would happen if it kept on happening. That’s what satirists do. Jonathan Swift saw that the English were treating the Irish as animals; what if they took the next natural step and ate their babies?

Houellebecq is not merely a satirist but—more unusually—a sincere satirist, genuinely saddened by the absurdities of history and the madnesses of mankind. He doesn’t “delight in depicting our follies,” as reviewers like to say; he’s made miserable by them. French reviews and American previews of “Submission” might leave one with the impression of a sardonic, teeth-baring polemic about the evils of Islam, the absurdities of feminism, the terrible demoralization of French life. In truth, the tone of the book is melancholic rather than polemical. Life makes Houellebecq blue. “The totality of animals, the crushing majority of men, live without ever finding the least need for justification,” his narrator, a literature professor at the Sorbonne, reflects. “They live because they live, and that’s all, and that’s how they reason—and then I suppose they die because they die, and this, in their eyes, ends the analysis.” That’s Houellebecq’s typical tone; the book’s virtues lie in his mordant, disabused eye for depressing details of French life.

Even if, sentence by sentence, Houellebecq is not a writer to envy, certainly he does have a voice of his own, one of slightly resigned sociological detachment. In the very first pages of the new book, he remarks, apropos the uses of a university degree in literature, that “a young woman applying for a job as a saleswoman at Céline or Hermès will, in the first place, have to take care of her appearance, but a literature degree could constitute a secondary attribute pleasing to the employer, suggesting a certain intellectual agility that might indicate a potential evolution of her career—literature, in place of useful skills, still has a positive connotation in the domain of the luxury industry.” You master Proust to become a better salesgirl, and what else would you expect? The commodification of the world and the art and the people in it leaves Houellebecq unexcited.

 

Olga Gerhart’s Library Testimonial

OlgaGerhartTestimonial“Since arriving at the Texas State University Philosophy Department two years ago, the library has been an incredible resource.  In terms of my teaching, librarians have provided customized learning sessions for both my lower- and upper-level classes, and I frequently use the “Ask a Librarian” feature to find a fact or statistic before I go into lecture.  I also have been able to order books that I have adopted in classes so that I can place them on Reserve for the students.  And if the library does not have an article I would like to assign my students to read, the Copyright Officer purchases access to it.  In terms of my research, interlibrary loan has been invaluable.  Moreover, after I have written a piece, the Copyright Officer will not only help me determine what copyright permissions need to be obtained, the Officer will actually do the work to get those permissions.  Finally, in terms of character, the librarians with whom I have worked have always been friendly, knowledgeable, and über competent.”

— Olga Gerhart, Philosophy Faculty

How To Read A Call Number and Find a Book

callnumCall numbers are those letters and numbers written on a piece of paper taped to the spine of the book. There are just codes for different subjects – psychology, criminal justice, poetry, and so on.

Normally, you’d be doing a search in the catalog and you’ll see this.

bigca

The call number is in the middle of the record.  It also tells you what floor to go to.

Once you get to the floor, each aisle tells you what numbers are on that aisle. Just like a grocery store.

New Alkek Library READ poster and postcards with graduate Daniela Garcia!

Featured

READ Dani web banner 3

This is our new READ poster image with recent graduate, Daniela Garcia! You can get your free postcards at these locations in Alkek Library:

Circulation and Research & Info desk – main or 2nd floor
Periodicals/Media desk –  3rd floor
Government Info desk – 4th floor
The Wittliff – 7th floor

They will also be available soon at the Round Rock Campus Library.

Here is Daniela’s full testimonial about reading and the library. Her quote is on the back of the READ postcards too:

“Growing up I never truly had immediate access to luxury entertainment thus naturally causing me to shift my attention towards books. My sisters were older than me by a few years so I always found myself connected to characters inside books of many sorts instead. Throughout my public education, I would look forward to the school book raffles sometimes giving me the opportunity to get more than one book! My own personal library has been developing since those times and has even inspired me to write my own stories. Out of this inspiration derived the decision to attempt a degree in English to be able to hone my writing craft. Being surrounded by books to me means surrounded by a myriad number of worlds and characters. Being surrounded by books means surrounded by endless possibilities and opportunities to learn. This is why I love books and why the library is the most magical place for me to be.”

Daniela Garcia
BA in English, Film emphasis
Minor in Anthropology
Sigma Tau Delta International English Honors Society Member

February Library eNews Is Live!

We’re excited to present the February issue of Library eNews, featuring services and resources to serve our Texas State community. This issue introduces our new 3D printing service, provides tips on career exploration and honing research skills, showcases our University Archivist and a poem written for Alkek’s “Tell Us Your Story” competition–and much more!

Library eNews (also accessible at https://digital.library.txstate.edu/handle/10877/5952)

Inside This Issue:

Director’s Message
My Home Away From Home

Tell Us Your Story Winner
“The Alkek Library,” by Isabel Briana Torres

Student Voices
How Alkek and a Hike Helped Me Find My Way

Step Up Your Research
Using Library Resources to Sharpen Research Skills

Meet Our Staff
Kristine Toma, University Archivist

News from the North
Faculty: Place Reserve Items at the RRC Library

Collections Spotlight
Calling All Art Lovers!

At the Wittliff Collections
Wittliff Exhibit Highlights Classic Texas Films

Texas State University History
Glimpses of University History on Flickr

Copyright Corner
Using Images from the Internet