Featured Author: Novelist Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt (link to our books here) s a best selling author whose principal theme is the moral seduction of working class innocents who are drawn into the world of glamorous but dangerous wealthy people.

Here’s a review of her work (about her famous debut The Secret History) from Literature Resource Center.

“The Secret History is less a mystery–the killers are revealed on the first page–than “an exploration of evil, both banal and bizarre,” in the words of Martha Duffy in Time. The story is narrated by Richard Papen, a transfer student who disavows his own middle-class upbringing to gain entrance into an elitist circle of students. “The gradual moral seduction of Richard is all the more cleverly revealed by its depiction in his own voice,” commented Andrew Rosenheim in the New York Times Book Review. As Richard becomes accepted by the group, he learns that four out of the five other members had participated in the bloody murder of a farmer who interrupted their late-night “bacchanal.” When one among the small coterie threatens to betray this dark secret, that person, too, is killed. “Tartt shows a superior sense of pace, playing off her red herrings and foreshadowings like an old hand at the suspense game,” Duffy stated in Time. In the New York Times Book Review, Rosenheim praised Tartt’s “skillful investigation of the chasm between academe’s supposed ideals and the vagaries of its actual behavior” and further commented that her prose was “at once lush and precise.” Nancy Wood, reviewing The Secret History in Maclean’s, believed that Tartt “is strongest when she finds poetry in everyday events: the sights and smells of a campus, the familiarity of certain television shows.” The Secret History, Wood concluded, “stands out as well written and original.”

 

Aretha Franklin Recordings and Biographies

Aretha Franklin books here.

From this obituary:

Known as the Queen of Soul, she was born into true American royalty as the daughter of one of the most celebrated of the nation’s black Baptist preachers, the Rev CL Franklin, and his wife, Barbara, a nurse’s aide and a singer and choirmistress in her husband’s church.

Clarence LaVaughn Franklin had met Barbara Siggers in Sunflower County, Mississippi, where he picked cotton while practising his preaching in small local churches. Aretha Louise – one of the couple’s four children, and named after her father’s two sisters – was born in Memphis, Tennessee, where CL Franklin had become pastor of the New Salem church; she was still an infant when they moved, first to Buffalo, New York State, and thence to Detroit, where her father became the minister of the New Bethel church. Aretha was six when her mother returned to Buffalo, accompanied by her son from a previous relationship. The remaining siblings were supervised in their father’s comfortable Detroit home by their paternal grandmother, Rachel, known as Big Mama, and a series of housekeepers, but spent the summers with their mother until Barbara died of a sudden heart attack when Aretha was 10.

The children – including an older sister, Erma, and a younger one, Carolyn, both gifted singers – grew up under the wing of a charismatic father who was among the first of his kind to spread his message via radio, recordings and national tours with his own travelling revival show. CL Franklin made friendships with many important African Americans: he marched alongside Martin Luther King and ordained the young Jesse Jackson; Ward was an intimate friend; and Aretha once came home from school to find Art Tatum, the nonpareil jazz pianist, playing the family grand.

Book Review: The Presentation Secrets Of Steve Jobs

I can recommend wholeheartedly The Presentation Secrets Of Steve Jobs.

This book pretty much sums up the current cutting edge approach to presentations – honesty, passion and preparation.  External appearance doesn’t matter so much as authenticity.

There are also tips on how to organize a presentation. For example, define an enemy or problem and show the audience how your idea overcomes the problem.  Also create an a-ha moment that the audience can take home with them mentally.

Along the way, the book also discusses the correct use of slide images and text behind you and the correct use of props. Lots more in this one – check it out.

The Internet Wayback Machine Archives The Web

The Internet changes constantly. Ever wonder what happens to content that’s taken down?

A handful (but growing) number of organizations archive web content. A “picture” is taken every few days and stored.

The main Internet archive is called the Wayback Machine.

From The Economist:

The Wayback Machine’s inventor, Brewster Kahle, is an internet entrepreneur, philanthropist and computer whizz who helped design Mr Hillis’s ground-breaking Connection Machine in the 1980s. In 1996 he founded a non-profit organisation, the Internet Archive, to create a free internet library capable of storing a copy of every web page of every website ever to go online. The Wayback Machine allows users to view the library’s archived web pages as they appeared when published. Today the Internet Archive also includes texts, audio, moving images and software. At the last count, its collection contained more than 150 billion items.

Search The Wayback Machine Here

Even though we have the Wayback Machine, it is not a perfect solution and does not capture all of the web. Here’s a critique of our current storage methods of the web. 

Texas Authors: Robert E Howard, Creator of Conan the Barbarian

All Robert E Howard books here

Bet you didn’t know that Conan the Barbarian was actually from Texas.The creator of Conan was Robert E. Howard, who spent most of his life in Cross Plains Texas, just outside of Abilene.

Also: Vincent D’Onofrio and Renée Zellweger were in a movie called the Whole Wide World which is about Robert E. Howard’s life in Cross Plains.

Alkek Little Free Library

LittleFreeLibraryIntroducing the Alkek Little Free Library!

Located on Thorpe & Warden Lanes in San Marcos, it is a tiny library created to encourage the community to share, exchange, and read books. It is on Texas State property, Bldg. #967 at 1401 Thorpe Lane.

A team of Alkek Library staffers have launched a Texas State community service project to promote literacy to our San Marcos community through the Little Free Library program. The team, which started work in 2015, has included Lisa Ancelet, Gaye Wood, Tricia Boucher, Terry Hernandez, Roberto Gutierrez, Liz Sisemore, Emily Segoria, Megan Ballengee, Gina Watts, and Hithia Davis, the chair. The little wooden library was made by a volunteer from the community, Jason Pfanenstiel.

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. Through Little Free Libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

As a major employer and organizational citizen of the San Marcos community, Texas State’s University Libraries feels a responsibility to share its Bobcat pride and spread the joy and educational benefits of reading beyond our campus.

The front bill poster proudly displays the Texas State logo and encourages people to enjoy a book and then return it and enjoy another. The idea is to get the community to share and read books in this free community exchange. The box was originally stocked with books donated by library staff.

A second box is planned to be located on property owned by the De La Cruz Family, who have partnered in this effort, on the corner of FM 1978 and Redwood Rd. later this year

Library staff used GIS Technology and expertise to identify locations within the community that are not in close proximity to public libraries, not in flood areas, and where the socio-economic and literacy data indicated a strong need for access to books.

The team is currently working with campus student organizations to maintain the boxes and is making plans to promote and expand the program.

Faculty: Get Print Journal Articles Delivered To You with FADS

Faculty Article Delivery Service (FADS)

Alkek Library now delivers electronic copies of articles from our print journal collection right to your desktop. This service, called Faculty Article Delivery Service or FADS, is available to faculty at either the San Marcos or Round Rock locations.

Here’s how to request an article through FADS:

Simply use the Interlibrary Loan system to request any print article, by filling out an online loan request using your ILLiad account. The interlibrary loan staff will take your request and either digitize the article on demand if we subscribe to the journal in print OR obtain the article via interlibrary loan (if we do not subscribe to the journal).
You will receive the article in a timely manner via your ILLiad account and can access the digital version on your desktop in your office or home– no more trips to the library to find and copy the article!
Please note that articles available in our Research Databases, accessible from the library homepage, are not included in the FADS or ILLiad service. The library licenses several thousand full-text e-journals, providing faculty with easy access to the journal literature at work and home or on the road.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Interlibrary Loan office at 245-4893 or via email.