Read, Listen, Watch


New Summer Reading Suggestion!

Posted by: Kelsey Strout


Here is an additional summer reading suggestion to add to your lists. The Help written by Kathryn Stockett currently holds the number one spot on The New York Times Best Sellers List for combined print & e-book fiction.

Publisher’s Weekly provides the following description:

“What perfect timing for this optimistic, uplifting debut novel (and maiden publication of Amy Einhorn’s new imprint) set during the nascent civil rights movement in Jackson, Miss., where black women were trusted to raise white children but not to polish the household silver. Eugenia Skeeter Phelan is just home from college in 1962, and, anxious to become a writer, is advised to hone her chops by writing about what disturbs you. The budding social activist begins to collect the stories of the black women on whom the country club set relies and mistrusts enlisting the help of Aibileen, a maid who’s raised 17 children, and Aibileen’s best friend Minny, who’s found herself unemployed more than a few times after mouthing off to her white employers. The book Skeeter puts together based on their stories is scathing and shocking, bringing pride and hope to the black community, while giving Skeeter the courage to break down her personal boundaries and pursue her dreams. Assured and layered, full of heart and history, this one has bestseller written all over it.”

This title may sound familiar, as it has just been made into a movie which stars Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard and Octavia L. Spencer and opens on August 10th.

Find out what all the fuss is about by reserving Snell Library’s copy today or get more information on

Posted in: Read, Listen, Watch, Serendipity


Snell Library’s Suggested Summer Reading

Posted by: William Macowski


Staff members of Snell Library have some great suggestions of titles for you to add to your Summer Reading List. For more information on these titles, stop by the display case on the first floor in Snell Library’s main stairwell. Enjoy!

Comfort Me With Apples: More Adventures At The Table, by Ruth Reichl – Suggested by Anita Bennett, Research & Instruction Staff Supervisor

The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak – Suggested by Rebecca Bailey, Librarian, Research & Instruction

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins – Suggested by Ernesto Valencia, Systems Librarian

Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand – Suggested by Nina Shah, Advancement/Marketing/Events Assistant

Bicycle Diaries, by David Byrne – Suggested by Jessie Contour, Graphic Design Co-op, Spring/Summer 1 2011

Posted in: Read, Listen, Watch, Serendipity, Staff Interests


Marginalia as Scholarly Communication

Posted by: Hillary Corbett


Although we may think of scholarly communication as the process of disseminating research through formal publication or online distribution, scholars have been communicating with and responding to each other since well before the advent of the Internet or even print journals. One way in which modern scholars can understand earlier processes of communication is through the study of marginalia, or the notes to themselves or others that previous scholars have left in the margins of the texts they read. Works have been published on the marginalia of single writers, such as Voltaire’s Marginalia on the Pages of Rousseau (Havens, 1971), or on marginalia as a topic unto itself. H.J. Jackson has published two books on marginalia:

(Note: Both titles are available as e-books to members of the NU community.)

Recently, the personal library of Charles Darwin was digitized and made available freely online through the Biodiversity Heritage Library. Darwin himself frequently made notes in the margins of his books, and one special feature of this online collection is the full transcription of all his marginalia. Being able to read the notes that Darwin made to himself as he read gives scholars today insight into how his ideas, well, evolved over time. Marginalia were also a way for Darwin and others to share their ideas informally with their contemporaries through exchanging personal copies of their books.

Of course, marginalia aren’t only created by the greatest scientific minds – one of my favorite poets, Billy Collins, wrote a poem on the margin notes left by everyday readers:

Sometimes the notes are ferocious,
skirmishes against the author
raging along the borders of every page
in tiny black script.
If I could just get my hands on you,
Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O’Brien,
they seem to say,
I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head.

Other comments are more offhand, dismissive -
“Nonsense.” “Please!” “HA!!” -
that kind of thing.
I remember once looking up from my reading,
my thumb as a bookmark,
trying to imagine what the person must look like
who wrote “Don’t be a ninny”
alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson.

– From “Marginalia” (Billy Collins)

(Read the full poem here.)

Posted in: Read, Listen, Watch, Scholarly Communications, Serendipity


Midnight Release of Harry Potter

Posted by: Kelsey Strout


Tonight is the night Harry Potter fans have been waiting for, the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. If you haven’t already purchased your tickets, you better do so quickly, as seats are selling out fast! Regal Fenway Stadium 13 has eleven theaters showing midnght premiers, and the AMC Lowes Theater in the Boston Commons has ten theaters showing the midnight premier, all of which have sold out.

“The final chapter begins as Harry, Ron, and Hermione continue their quest of finding and destroying the Dark Lord’s three remaining Horcruxes, the magical items responsible for his immortality. But as the mystical Deathly Hallows are uncovered, and Voldemort finds out about their mission, the biggest battle begins and life as they know it will never be the same again.” -The Internet Movie Database

More interested in reading every captivating detail? Come to Snell Library and check out any of the Harry Potter books!

Posted in: Read, Listen, Watch, Serendipity


Poet Robert Gibbons, Ed '69 featured in Salem

Posted by: Maria Carpenter


Maria Carpenter and Poet Robert Gibbons

Northeastern Alumnus and prior Snell Library staff member Robert Gibbons, Ed. ’69 read selections from his works alongside Richard Hoffman at the Gathering, as part of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. Here is a poem he read.

Salem Came Back to Me Before I Came Back to Salem

As I said to Bob Silva, who lived there on Rice Street just short of the Beverly
Bridge, adjacent to Pilgrim Motel, so that late nights in summer all his brother
& he had to do was scale a small fence to swim in the pool, Salem came back
to me before I came back to Salem. Also late at night, during a brutal two
hour bout with insomnia images arrived, not chronologically, but a montage
of streets & workplaces, people & events, transient & permanent. I’ll
document it as between 1:45-3:45 a.m., Monday, May 9th, 2011. From the
ground up, that’s for sure, where I lived on Proctor Street with Mary &
Harold & Aunt Bea, or Cambridge Street with my first wife, or Geneva with
Kathleen. Working at Met-Com on Derby, the library on Lafayette, or
cataloguing the broadside collection at the museum on Essex. I can’t reorder
their non-chronological sequence, but driving down Boston Street one might
see, as I did again, those neighborhood toughs Tarqui, or Pelletier, while
Snowy & his crew emerged from the woodwork of the Willows’ neon
arcades. The image of my father looking through Irish lace curtains to see if
anyone bid on the family house on Liberty Hill Ave. during the auction held
on the sidewalk outside. It’s not as if the same autobiographical information
recently struggled with returned, no, it was geocentric, even if Salem were
only a place traversed along the way to Marblehead, or Nahant, or in the
opposite direction toward Cape Ann. I was all-eyes for a long time, an empty
vessel looking for something to take the place of stark ignorance. I might be
conversing with Mr. Roach, the bookseller across from Jerry’s Army &
Navy, or eyeing that used copy of Cavafy translations at Murphy’s bookstore
behind Old Town Hall, or learning fragment by fragment a bit more about art
from the proprietor of Asia House, who also had an association with
Weatherhill, then publishers in NYC. One of my labors was to clean out the
huge furnace at Salem Hospital. Whenever I burned the trash the older guys
warned of amputated limbs, & years before I cut through that myth. Two
hours is a long time for images to hover. There’s Grampy Mike shoveling
two buckets of coal for his furnace on Winthrop Street, & my other
grandfather able to jump in & out of a wooden barrel without using his
hands. Those barrels held leather skins for factories across from & at the foot
of Proctor, & served as fodder for the annual bonfire atop Gallows Hill, until
one year they toppled & rolled down toward spectators running for their
lives, me among them. Later, I’d look in awe across from Pattie & David’s
condo on Chestnut at Ernest Fenollosa’s former residence, hoping to put
principles in his The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry
to use: Poetry only does consciously what primitive races did unconsciously.
There’s Bobby Leonard & I walking down Orange Street finding two dollar
bills face up in the rain as talismans for the upcoming cross-country trip, &
journey down to Mexico…

Posted in: Library News and Events, Read, Listen, Watch, Serendipity, Staff Interests