Archive for the ‘We Recommend’ Category

We Recommend: Cajun and zydeco CDs and LPs

Cajun music, and its cousin, zydeco, are musical forms that originated in south Louisiana.  Cajun music ranges from small to large ensembles, from folk to pop, country and rock styles, and is available to hear in the Monroe Library, on CD and LP.  Cajun is usually sung in a local form of French and played on violin, small accordion, guitar, bass, and drums.  Zydeco can be in French or English and features large accordions, electric guitar and bass, rubboard, and sometimes saxophone and trumpet.  There’s a large original group of songs, like the Valse de Bayou Teche and the Eunice two step, with some English pop, rock and country tunes.  We have recordings by giants like Clifton Chenier, BeauSoleil, the Balfa Brothers, and Amedé Ardoin.  We have CD and vinyl recordings; click here to do a catalog search.

We Recommend: The Great Divorce

The Great Divorce – C. S. Lewis

Call Number -  BJ1401 .L48

CSLewis TheGreatDivorce.jpg C. S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce follows the spirit of a deceased man as he explores the realms of the after life. Much like in Dante’s Divine Comedy, the man begins his journey in Hell and eventually ventures to Heaven. Lewis masterfully describes a journey through the afterlife, making this theological fantasy a must read for any fan of Lewis’ work to fantasy in general.

-Andrew Naquin, Student Library Assistant

We Recommend: Visualize This

Visualize This by Nathan Yau– Nathan Yau

In Visualize This, Nathan Yau gives readers a practical, hands-on guide to harvesting, organizing, and visualizing data. In reading this book, you will get experience using R, Adobe Illustrator, Python, and other programs to organize data into bar charts, heat maps. scatter plots, star charts, and even Chernoff Faces.

Checkout the embedded video for more information. If your interested in Visualize This be on the lookout for Yau’s second book Data Points.

-Brian Sullivan, Instructional and Research Technologies Librarian

We Recommend: Flatland

Flatland : A Romance of Many Dimensions – Edwin Abbott
[Cover] Abbott’s Flatland is one of the few novels about math and philosophy that can appeal to the non-philosophy or math student. This short fantasy takes us to a completely flat world of two physical dimensions where all the inhabitants are geometric shapes, and who think the planar world of length and width in which they live is all there is. But one inhabitant discovers the existence of a third physical dimension, enabling him to eventually grasp the concept of a fourth dimension. Watching Arthur Square, our Flatland narrator, we begin to get an idea of the limitations of our own assumptions about reality, and we start to learn how to think about the confusing problem of higher dimensions.
-Andrew Naquin, Student Library Assistant

We Recommend: The Song of the Bird

The Song of the Bird – Anthony De Mello

[Cover] Anthony De Mello is considered by many to be the authority on modern Catholic mysticism. Hailing from India, De Mello was a Jesuit that was greatly influenced by the eastern spirituality of India. This spirituality is evident in The Song of the Bird, a collection of short stories designed to allegorically point to truths about the universe and life. The Song of the Bird is a great read for anyone exploring spirituality or the enduring truths of creation.

We Recommend: Chester Alan Arthur

Chester Alan Arthur: The Life of a Gilded Age Politician and President – Gregory J. Dehler

Portrait of a man with a tremendous mustache Every high school history student knows of Washington, Jefferson, and Obama, but sometimes our lesser-known presidents get forgotten in the annals of time. Chester A. Arthur is one of those men. Thrust into office after the assassination of President Garfield, Arthur became known as a champion of reform in 19th century Washington. Dehler paints a vivid portrait of President Arthur that enlightens us to one of history’s often-forgotten workhorses.

-Andrew Naquin, Library Student Assistant

We Recommend: The Wrestler (Film)

The Wrestler

Directed by Darren Aronofsky

Starring Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei
The Wrestler poster.jpg Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler portrays a wrestler, Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke), who struggles to get through life once his wrestling career is over. Randy’s prime was in the 80′s, and after retirement, he struggles with addiction and broken relationships. Like the style used in many of his other films, Aronofsky masterfully portrays a man’s tragic decline through the title character in The Wrestler. Considered by Aronofsky to be a companion piece to his 2010 hit Black Swan, The Wrestler is a beautifully crafted drama and a great choice for any fan of heart-wrenching film.

-Andrew Naquin, Student Library Assistant

We Recommend: The Power and the Glory

The Power and the Glory – Graham Greene

PowerAndTheGlory.jpg Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory follows an unnamed Mexican “whiskey priest” during the socialist ban of religion in Mexico in the 1930′s. The priest journeys throughout the countryside bringing Communion to those still practicing Catholicism underground, but he also struggles with moral failings in his past. Greene beautifully portrays the priest’s tension between his call to holiness and his own failure, and this tension will resonate with any reader.

-Andrew Naquin, Library Student Assistant

We Recommend: Cat’s Cradle

Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut

[Cover] Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle follows the story of John, an ordinary man who ends up on the bizarre Caribbean island of San Lorenzon. On this island, John finds a dictator bent on controlling the population of the island through genocide and religion.  Published in 1963, Vonnegut’s compelling prose and masterful storytelling make Cat’s Cradle a literary classic that stands the test of time.

-Andrew Naquin, Student Library Assistant

We Recommend: Animal Farm

Animal Farm – George Orwell

At first glance, George Orwell’s Animal Farm seems like a children’s book. The talking animals and ease of the prose may trick the reader into believing Orwell’s work is a simple book, but this allegorical novel is deeper than it may appear. Orwell’s classic addresses the dangers of blind trust in a political leader and the corruption that occurs when given unfettered power. Animal Farm is a must read for anyone interested in politics, philosophy, or sociology.

-Andrew Naquin, Student Library Assistant