Thursday, 24 May 2018

Gale Literary Sources

Gale Literary Sources brings together Gale's premier literary databases for researchers, faculty, and students alike in an integrated research experience. To search, discover, and analyse this rich literary content, simply find Gale Literary Sources on the A-Z Databases page (under G). The Gale Literary Sources database allows cross searching across all included titles. Alternatively, to individually search one of the titles simply click the What's Inside tab or follow the links below.

Included in Gale Literary Sources are the following titles:

Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete Online
A collection of more than 16,000 biographical and critical essays on the lives, works, and careers of the world's most influential literary figures from all eras and genres, including many Australian writers.

Literature Criticism Online
Literature Criticism Online includes centuries of scholarly and popular literary commentary from broadsheets, pamphlets, encyclopedias, books and periodicals. Periodicals include Children's Literature Review (0362-4145), Poetry Criticism (1052-4851), Shakespearean Criticism (0883-9123), Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism (0276-8178), and many more.

Literature Resource Center 
A comprehensive online literary site, Literature Resource Center addresses all facets of literary study in one highly searchable interface. It includes biographical information, overviews, full-text literary criticism and reviews on nearly 130,000 writers in all disciplines, from all time periods and from around the world.

LitFinder provides access to literary works from authors throughout history and includes more than 135,000 full-text poems and 800,000+ poetry citations, as well as short stories, speeches, full-text essays, and plays. The database also includes secondary materials including over 18,000 contextual work explanations of poems and novels, and over 2,750 biographies, as well as photographs and illustrations.

Something About the Author Online
Something About the Author Online provides first-time comprehensive online access to all volumes ever printed in the long-standing Something About the Author series, which examines the lives and works of authors and illustrators for children and young adults and is the preeminent source on authors and literature for young people.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Library and Information Week 21-27 May

JCU Libraries are celebrating Library and Information Week from 21-27 May, 2018. Library and Information Week aims to raise the profile of libraries and information service professionals in Australia and showcase the many and varied resources and services that libraries provide to the community. The event has been organised by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) to promote the value of reading and literacy, the importance of Australia's book industry and the role of libraries.

The theme for this year is Find yourself in a library. On Wednesday, 23 May from 10am-11am, the JCU libraries in Townsville and Cairns will host a simultaneous celebration for Library and Information Week.  We invite you to:
  • Come in and see our display,  
  • Add a post to one of our social media sites – Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #LIW2018 - telling us why you found yourself in the library today,
  • Then enjoy a Freddo frog on us.
  • Have your say about the refurbishment of the Cairns library ground floor using our survey.
The library staff find themselves in the library every day… because we love it! Ask us why!

52 Book Challenge - Week 21

Personal growth. It's a very personal thing, isn't it? One person might read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and suddenly change they way they approach life, the universe and everything. Others may be unmoved by such things, but reach an epiphany after reading Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose*.

This week's Reading Challenge is:

21. A personal growth book.

So, how would you, personally, like to grow? Would you like to know the psychological factors for success? Would you like to improve your study skills? Would you like to be able to communicate more effectively? Or write more academicy sounding papers and stuff? How about dipping into career development? Or would you just like to learn how to make corn dollies?

Have you missed out on hearing about the 52 Book Challenge? Catch up here.

*I'm not sure what the moral of the story is for this book, but I'm pretty sure it can be co-opted for a lesson on learning how to say "no".

Reading Challenge Week 20 - A Book Translated From Another Language

A translator of a book has an interesting job. They have to convey not only the story of the original book in another language, but also the spirit of it. Ideally, a translated work will be as close as possible to the original, without letting a direct literal translation of the language get in the way of conveying the sense and feeling of the author's work. It's a difficult balance to achieve, and good translators are worth their weight in gold.

This week's reading challenge was to read a translated book. Did you read one? How did you find the translation?

Brenda Carter read The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas.

I don’t envy Robin Buss, the person who translated The Count of Monte Cristo (840 DUM(P) 2C COU/PEN) from the French by Alexandre Dumas. At 1276 pages, it’s not a quick read but it certainly is an exciting and compelling one. And you can’t tell that the story has been translated, which must mean that Buss has done an excellent job! 

The central theme is revenge. We meet Edmond Dantes on the day of his wedding to the beautiful Mercedes. Although a popular and accomplished seaman, Dantes has enemies who conspire to have him imprisoned in the island fortress of the Chateau d'I on trumped-up charges.  While in prison, he meets a man who tells him about some treasure on the island of Monte Cristo. 

By the time Dantes escapes, he has crafted an intricate plan of revenge on all his enemies and the reader is well and truly on his side. But will Mercedes still be waiting and willing to reunite with her former lover?

You can find Buss's translation in print, or try David Coward's translation as an ebook in the JCU library collections. The original French version, Le comte de Monte-Cristo, is also in our collection.

Sharon Bryan read The Reader, by Bernhard Schlink.

Schlink's The Reader (830 SCHL 2C VOR) was admirably translated by the late Carol Brown Janeway, who captured the spirit of the original in a translation that was articulate and intelligent, but still highly readable. The Reader - or, in the original German, Der Vorleser (830 SCHL 1C VOR) - is a story written in late 20th century Germany and set in mid 20th century West Germany - and it is very much a story of it's time. Both times.

The novel was written at a time when German society was finally coming to grips with their past, and stepping out from old shadows. They were better able to say "Our grandparents were involved in some pretty terrible things, but that's not who we are." That was when this book was written, and it looks back at the earlier period with a frankness that might not have been possible earlier.

It is set in a time when West German society was trying to avoid being "those people who did terrible things in the war" and make a brighter, better present for themselves by doing their best to avoid thinking about their past. The next generation (the children of the people who had been caught up in the events of World War II) didn't really know what their parent's generation had been doing a couple of decades earlier. But then they started to learn, and they were completely shocked.

What would you do if you found out someone you loved and respected had been a prison guard in a detention camp where horrible things happened? What would you do if you learnt they had played a role in those horrible things?

Michael (the narrator of the novel) is a teenage boy who is seduced by Hanna, an older woman. She wants him to read to her, and he's happy to have the attention. The affair is short lived, but leaves a lasting impression on the boy. He later learns that she was involved in something he can't accept, when his law class attends the trial of a war criminal - only to find the war criminal in question is Hanna (one heck of a reunion). At some point, he realises she can't be guilty of all the crimes she is accused of, and he knows why. But she is guilty of at least some of the crimes. So where does that leave him?

Monday, 21 May 2018

10 Year Anniversary of the Naming of the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library

In 2008, the library on the Townsville campus was named in honour of Eddie Koiki Mabo. This was to emphasise the proud connection JCU has with Mr Mabo, who played an important role in reshaping the legal landscape of Australia.

Mr Mabo was the lead plaintiff in the court cases that led to the Native Title Act, which changed the legal status of Indigenous Australian's rights to their ancestral lands. He undertook part of his research for his case in the library which is now named after him.

May 21st, 2018 marks the tenth anniversary of the naming of the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library, and we hope you will take the opportunity to learn more about the man whose name we are proud to bear. Local historian, Trisha Fielding (who works in our Special Collections), has written a recent blog post that is a great place to start: Mabo and the Native Title Act.

During the past ten years, in honour of our connection with Eddie Koiki Mabo and the Indigenous Australian groups throughout North Queensland and surrounds, we have been privileged to be able to host a regular art exhibition in Mr Mabo's name, showcasing the work of various artists from the region.

This year's exhibition, "10 Years" revisits the work of the artists who have been a part of the exhibition over the past decade. The works will be on display in the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library from the 18th of May to the 15th of June, 2018. Please come in and view the works anytime during our opening hours.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

52 Book Challenge - Week 20

Here in Australia, we don't "redo" a lot of movies from other countries. Dubbing is for people who can be bothered paying for voice actors. We just run it in the original language and use subtitles. It's part of what makes this country great.

With books, however, you're less likely to find "subtitles" (or, as we call them in the book world, "parallel text"). Usually, you just get a straight up translation.

Which leads us to this week's reading challenge:

20. A book translated from another language

Now, of course there are a number of ways you can search for translated books (for example you could use the Language limit in One Search), but we're going to recommend the most fun one.

You see, our collection is structured by the Dewey Decimal system, and literature from particular languages is grouped together. So, for example, all of the books (novels, poems, plays, short stories, etc) that were originally published in German is in the 830s. You could head up to shelves and see if anything takes your fancy.

Take a look at this list of categories in the 800s to see where the different languages are living.

Now, we do have books in the original languages in those sections as well, so if it just so happens that you read German, French, Italian, Japanese or what have you, then you'll find something to read in those languages.

Oh, and if you do read German, French, Italian or Japanese, you may be interested to know that we have translations of Harry Potter, the Chronicles of Narnia and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in multiple languages, so you could get a bit clever with this challenge if you wanted to.

Have you missed out on hearing about the 52 Book Challenge? Catch up here.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Reading Challenge Week 19 - A Book with a One-Word Title

This week's challenge in the 52 Book Reading Challenge was to read a book with a one-word title. When you're only using one word in the title, that word has to do a lot. It has to declare the book's intentions, give you an idea about what you'll find inside the book and grab the reader's attention.

A lot of books with one-word titles end up with subtitles trying to pick up some of the slack (particularly on the cover). We chose to forgive these books, just because we can, as long as they only had one-word titles on the title page.

Brenda Carter read Colour by Edith Anderson Feisner.

Colour by Edith Anderson Feisner (701.85 FEI) is not a book I would normally pick up, however it made a splash on the shelving trolley and it’s always good to read something outside your comfort zone.

The book’s subtitle is How to use colour in art and design. It provides an in-depth treatment of colour theory but the chapters that interested me most explored the influence of colour – in symbolism, language and emotion, and health care, as well as sections on how colour has been used throughout history in fashion, and in the environmental, studio and commercial arts.

With colourful illustrations on every page and useful appendices of colour charts, summary tables and a comprehensive glossary, Colour is an illuminating read for the art student and recreational reader alike.

Scott Dale read Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov.

Nabokov wrote Pnin (found on the shelves at 891.7 NAB 2C PNI) in sections, publishing the final book in 1957. Pnin was written while Nabokov’s most famous novel Lolita (also a contender for this week’s challenge) was finished but remained unpublished. But this is no Lolita - Timofey Pavlovich Pnin and Lolita’s narrator Humbert Humbert are markedly different characters.

I am always impressed by Nabokov’s precise use of language. That he wrote so many great works in English, rather than his native Russian, makes it more remarkable.

But to the book at hand. Professor Pnin teaches Russian in a U.S. College. He is “ideally bald, sun-tanned, and clean-shaven” with a big upper body and little legs. Pnin has not improved his English from the basic level he quickly achieved and for most of the book, he boards in various imperfect rooms around town. The story spends a lot of time in the academic world of the college but also takes us back to Pnin’s journey to the U.S. and to a country gathering of Russian emigrants which felt to me a bit like a Robert Altman film.

Pnin is both funny and sad. Many of the comedic moments come from the clown-ish Pnin but as I learned more of his past, I was sometimes unsure whether to laugh or cry at this comically tragic figure. 

Sharon Bryan read Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.

Quite a number of the books we've reviewed over the past few weeks could fit into more than one category in the 52 book challenge, so sometimes the challenge is to chose which week to review that particular book.

Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis (955.054 SAT) fits into so many categories, it's almost ridiculous. It's a non-fiction book (week 5), a book by a female author (week 7), a book that became a film (week 9), a book with a name in the title (week 12), a book you can finish in a day (week 17), a previously banned book (week 18), a book with a one word title (week 19), a book translated from another language (week 20), a memoir or journal (week 22), A book by someone from another country (week 23), an award winning book (week 25), a book with a place in the title (week 28), a scary book (week 31 - although the events in the book are scary, not the book itself), a funny book (week 32), a book with an appealing cover (week 42), a graphic novel (week 45 - although technically it's a graphic autobiography), a book from another country (week 48) and - for me - a book set in a country I've never been to (week 51).

Now, just going through that list makes Persepolis sound like an interesting book - and it is. Marjane Satrapi, who studied visual communication and illustration, uses striking black-and-white illustrations to tell the story of the political upheaval in Iran during the period from 1979-1983 through the eyes of her childhood self. There's a 'knowingness' to the book that comes from a memoir written with the aid of hindsight, but at the same time the book always rings true as the story of a 10 year old girl who is experiencing events that are so much bigger than she could ever imagine (and yet, become part of the fabric of her imagination). Iran in the late 20th century is going through an immense upheaval - and it's fascinating to watch this upheaval through the eyes of a young girl.