Monday, 30 April 2018

New Nursing Journal Collection and Emcare Database on Ovid

JCU Library now provides access to an additional 91 nursing journals, as part of the Ovid Nursing Journals package, making it one of the largest and most respected nursing and allied health collections.

JCU also has access to Emcare on Ovid, a nursing Abstracting and Indexing database providing more records and trusted content than any other leading nursing database. Emcare is integrated with JCU's Ovid full-text journal collections, allowing your research to go beyond just citation gathering to full text where it is available.

Supplementing Ovid Journals and Ovid Books are thousands of multimedia files covering all aspects of medicine, nursing and related fields. Not a student nurse or doctor? Psychology students can browse over one hundred thousand multimedia resources, and there are also over nine thousand videos on family care and two thousand covering exercise science.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

52 Book Challenge - Week 17

Well, there's a good chance some of you are still finishing off the book that was more than 500 pages (after all, you've got assignments to work on and stuff to do - you can't sit around reading all day!).

You'll be pleased to know that this week's challenge is considerably smaller:

17. A book you can finish in a day

It can be a long book that's a light read, or a short book packed with stuff.

Now, I am (of course) going to suggest that you might want to raid the Curriculum Collection for this challenge. It has many wonderful books that can be read in a day.

However, we've got some real gems in the Main Collection. For example, Your Book of Corn Dollies* is only 48 pages long. It's neighbour in the "weaving unaltered vegetable fibres" section of our library (746.41)** is Kete Making (traditional Maori woven bags), and it's only 32 pages long.

You could easily read those in a day. And then maybe try your hand at making traditional British or Maori straw-crafts. Bring in the earrings - we'd love to see them.

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

*Not our only book on making Corn Dollies.
**Not actually the name of a section of our library.

P.S. We have quite a number of fascinating books about art and traditional crafts up in the 700s - you should come up and see them some time.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Reading Challenge Week 16 - A book with over 500 pages

Sometimes it's good to sink your teeth into a nice long read. Of course, what you think is a long book, and what the person next to you thinks is a long book might be completely different, but I think we can all agree that you can't comfortably read 500 pages in a couple of hours.

Unless you're a freak. Or you have super powers. Or both.

Anyway, as you can probably guess, the challenge for this week was to read a book with over 500 pages. Handily, this challenge fell in lecture recess, so if you were looking for something to do instead of finish your assignments, it was perfect timing.

Brenda Carter read Middlemarch by George Eliot. 

Over the years I have found that watching a TV serialized version of a long novel has inspired me to tackle the 500+ pages required. This practice can be fraught with disappointment when the series and novel don’t live up to each other but in the case of Middlemarch by George Eliot, I wasn’t disappointed.

Set during the Industrial Revolution in provincial England, Middlemarch explores the opportunities, tensions and challenges produced by the conflict of new ideas and cultural conservatism. These ideas are explored through ideas concerning parliamentary reform, medical knowledge, religion, economics and gender roles. Eliot has created a wonderful collection of well-developed characters, several of whose stories intertwine (it is a provincial town after all), to convey her themes. There is a nice balance of realism, tragedy and inspiration in the characters and plot. While you probably won’t read it in a week, Middlemarch is a satisfying read and I highly recommend it.

Nathan Miller read The Thin Red Line by James Jones.

I read this novel whilst living in Japan teaching English. In my workplace were lots of Americans and (obviously) Japanese people, which made it interesting. This novel being such a heavy topic of individual soldier’s experience in what is considered one of the most brutal theatres of combat in World War 2 was tough going. The horror and grimness is driven home when you realize this is based on the author's actual combat experience in the same place, so the horror is more realistic.

The book (found at 810 JON 1C THI) is basically 531 pages of some of the most grim, depressing yet riveting reading I have ever done. The book was later made into the movie of the same name, and like the book it isn’t really a war story but an exploration of peoples inner experience of something as shocking as warfare and the meaning of existence.

Would I recommend this book? For me, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up and continued reading it, if there was other reading material- there was a significant lack of English books in Japan. That I read it while homesick during a Hokkaido winter (they sometimes get below 20 degrees Celsius, and you generally feel bummed out) is a sign that it can be read. What did I get out of it? Old clich├ęs of war is horrible and highlights the best, worst and, most apathetic and foolish aspects of humans - and no one can guess how each person will react. It’s like a non-ironic and non-sarcastic Catch-22, and will suit only some tastes.

Sharon Bryan read The Once and Future King, by T. H. White.

This is one of those books which is actually several smaller books smooshed together, but as White actually went back and revised the original books to fit together comfortably in one volume, I think I can safely call it "a" book (which can be found at 820 WHITE 1C ONC).

Athurian tragics will know that the first book in the tetralogy, The Sword in the Stone was the inspiration for the Disney movie of the same name. They'll also be able to tell you that a lot of what we think of, when we think of Arthurian myths and legends, came from either The Once and Future King or the works of Alfred Tennyson (both were based on Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, but put in a lot of extra bits that we are highly familiar with today).

Across the four books, we join Arthur at different points in his life: his discovery of his destiny when he was a boy, his seduction by his half-sister as a youth, his best friend stealing his wife, and then his son/nephew plunging the whole kingdom into civil war and eventually leading to Arthur's ambiguous death (assuming he did die...). Yeah, in spite of the Disney connection, it's not a kid's book.

The books were written across a couple of decades in the 1930s and 1940s, (then revised into a single work in the early 1950s), and they contain their fair share of commentary about totalitarianism, communism and fascism. The work, as a whole, is still a rollicking read, though.

World Book and Copyright Day - 23 April

Capt. John Severns, U.S. Air Force
UNESCO has proclaimed that World Book and Copyright Day is celebrated annually on 23 April, the date in 1616 that Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died.

According to UNESCO

... historically books have been the most powerful factor in the dissemination of knowledge and the most effective means of preserving it... All moves to promote their dissemination will serve not only greatly to enlighten all those who have access to them, but also to develop fuller collective awareness of cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire behaviour based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.

You can find plenty of enlightening print and online material to read in the JCU library collection via Onesearch or why not check out the library's recent purchases? The Library also provides a wealth of information about copyright to help you respect intellectual property ownership and comply with licensing agreements. 

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

52 Book Challenge - Week 16

And now for one of the biggest challenges of the 52 Book Reading Challenge:

15. A book with over 500 pages.

That's right, friends and readers, we are challenging you to read a long book. You may recall that we actually gave you advanced warning about this a couple of weeks ago.

In that post, we mentioned that we can't actually help you search for a book based on the number of pages, but we can tell you how to use One Search to see how many pages are in the book.

We're sure you remember, but just to refresh your memory we'll repeat it. And just to amuse ourselves, we'll repeat it in a bad approximation of Elizabethan English.

We'll also get a bit "fresh" with you and call you "thou" (even though that's the way to talk to someone you are very familiar with) because it sounds fancier - and besides, we're all friends here, aren't we?

  • Click, thou, upon the word "Preview", which appeareth at the bottom of the record thou dost desire.
  • Thereto shalt thou find the word "Pages" and, verily, (should the information thou dost seek be held within our humble records), thou shalt find the number of pages there listed.
Godspeed, good gentlefolk, and may the odds be ever in your favour.

(P.S. Sadly, The Hunger Games is just shy of 500 pages, at 454. But you'll be able to use it for the challenge in Week 34, which involves a series of books).

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

Monday, 16 April 2018

Reading Challenge Week 15 - A book someone else recommended

Have you ever had a book recommended to you - or read a book recommendation somewhere - and thought "I should totally read that one day?"

This week's Reading Challenge was to read A book someone else recommended, and we've rustled up a few that were recommended to us. But would we recommend them to you? Read on to find out.

Brenda Carter read Emotional Intelligence Pocketbook: Little Exercises for an Intuitive Life, by Gill Hasson

A recommendation hot off the press is the ebook Emotional Intelligence Pocketbook : Little Exercises for an Intuitive Life by Gill Hasson. It’s easy to become stressed and even overwhelmed by life’s demands, concerns and commitments. Emotional intelligence is all about using your emotions to inform your thinking and using your thoughts to understand and manage your emotions.

The more in touch you are with your own feelings, the more able you are to understand and relate effectively to others. Developing your emotional intelligence can not only help you manage difficult situations and live a happier life, it can also help you engage the ‘feel good’ emotions to inspire and motivate others.

Emotional intelligence pocketbook is a helpful read for so many reasons. At only 120 pages and available 24/7, it’s a good one to dip into when you or others need a lift.

Scott Dale read Journey to the End of the Night, by Louis-Ferdinand Celine.

I was too slow with this novel for last week’s true story Reading Challenge. Luckily it fits in with this week’s challenge of a book recommended by someone else. In this case the book was actually recommended by Charles Bukowski, many years ago. No, not in person, I did not meet “Hank”.

I’ll start by being a little over the top – although it is true. Louis-Ferdinand Celine wrote Journey to the End of the Night (840 CEL 2C VOY) and changed French literature forever. The influence of Celine’s novel went far beyond France itself, influencing writers all over the world.

I want to say that I do not endorse the artist as a person by reading their work (you can find out why one might want to use this qualifier by researching Celine's politics).

This book is not for everyone (but it is for me).

Journey to the End of the Night (Voyage au bout de la nuit) is a novel that has been labelled as emetic (I had to look it up), vulgar and as a masterpiece. The story follows the travels of the largely autobiographical antihero, Bardamu, from the fighting in the First World War, to colonial Africa, the United Sates and Paris. Along the way we hear much obscenity and much of what is wrong in the world. There is not much sign of hope or goodness from people and the systems and cities they create.

Ok, this is a dark book – the journey is to the end of the night, not toward a new day or to the light. Whatever followed later with the author, he seemed to revile all peoples equally in this book. But I enjoyed this journey. Yes, you will get your hands dirty along the way but there is a lot of humour (dark, of course) and insight amongst the muck and ellipses.

Sharon Bryan read Playing Beatie Bow, by Ruth Park.

This is another book that was recommended to me by a teacher back when I was in school (you can read about the other one I've reviewed here).

Actually, the same teacher recommended it to me more than once. I have to admit, though, that I judged it by it's cover and decided it didn't look like my kind of book. And then, sometime later, I read another book by Ruth Park - Poor Man's Orange. That book didn't exactly fill me with a burning desire to go out and read Park's other works. Mostly, it just made me grateful I live in a time and place where I don't have to douse my bed with kerosene on a semi-regular basis to get rid of bed bugs.

So, yes, Playing Beatie Bow was a long time coming. And I have to say it's something I really would have enjoyed reading back when I was in school, so my teacher was right.  This, by the way, was the same teacher who also recommended Seven Little Australians, so I really should have listened to her more often.

The book features a teenage girl called Abigail (although that's not her real name) who finds herself involved in a playground game gone horribly wrong, in a most unexpected fashion. While babysitting her neighbour’s kids, she notices a strange young girl watching the children playing a spooky game called “Beatie Bow”. Abigail follows the girl and ends up 110 years in the past.

Is it a ghost story? A fairy story? A time-travel adventure? All of the above? You’ll have to read the book to find out. In doing so, you’ll learn a thing or two about working class Victorians in Sydney in the 1870s. Entertaining and informative!

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Readings - Drop-In Space

Readings is the new platform for hosting subject-specific links to digitised resources for students. With semester 2 not far away, the library is offering drop-in sessions for staff who would like help creating or modifying readings lists for their subjects and linking them to LearnJCU. You can bring your own device or login to a computer in the room to work in your own account.

When: Thursday 2pm - 4pm
Recurring: Every week until 13th Sep 2018
Room 18.229, Building 18 - Eddie Koiki Mabo Library, James Cook University, Townsville
Room B1.016, Building B1 - Library, James Cook University, Cairns

You can find more information and help for Readings in the Readings libguide.

52 Book Challenge - Week 15

Did you know we were 15 weeks into the year already?

Time flies when you're having fun. Or even doing when you're not having fun, if we're being honest.

But of course we're having fun and you're having fun because we're reading books! All thanks to this lovely 52 Book Reading Challenge!

For those of you who are new to the challenge, each week we'll challenge you to read a book, and we'll find a few in our collection to read and review.

This week's challenge is:

15. A book someone else recommended

We've all been there. Someone has recommended a book to us, and we meant to read it.  Really, we did. It's just that we haven't gotten around to it, you know?

Well, now's the time! Pick a book from that long list of recommendations and read it!

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Reading Challenge Week 14 - A book based on a true story

The challenge for this week was to read a book based on a true story. We've already reviewed a bunch of books based on true stories (Murder on the Orient Express, Affection, The Three Musketeers, etc), so, what to pick next?

The Curriculum Collection came to our rescue, as it always does. We may have previously mentioned that the Curriculum Collection is one of our favourite parts of the library (followed closely by the Special Collections). The allure of pretty illustrations inspired by true stories was impossible to resist.

Well, Bronwyn found a book in the regular collection (or, as we like to call it in our catalogue, "Main"), but she thinks it should be in Special Collections, so it sort of fits with the theme.

Brenda Carter read Where the Forest Meets the Sea, by Jeannie Baker.

A long, long time ago (1988 in fact) I was privileged to attend an exhibition at Lewers Bequest and Penrith Regional Art Gallery, NSW. On display were the original collages created by Jeannie Baker for her latest picture book, Where the Forest Meets the Sea (820.94 BAK). I have since read this to my children and used it many times in the primary classroom. 

In the story, a boy and his father travel in their boat, ‘Time Machine’, to a stretch of beach beside an ancient tropical rainforest. As the boy walks among the trees, he imagines the forest as it might have been in the past. The illustrations are a labyrinth of flora and fauna and, if you look carefully, you may see a dinosaur and the outline of one of the forest’s original human inhabitants. I won’t spoil the final scene but suffice to say it is a warning of what might be.

Much of the delight and impact comes from examining the amazing collages Jeannie has created to portray the rainforest environment. Jeannie explains:
The collages are created from a combination of natural and artificial materials. Where I can I like to use textures from the actual materials portrayed ­ such as bark, feathers, cracked paint, earth, knitted wool, tin so that their natural textures become an integral part of the work. 

Where the Forest Meets the Sea is a memorable picture book for all ages. Whenever I drive the Captain Cook Highway towards Port Douglas or visit the national park at Mossman I am reminded of the beauty and message of this story.

Bronwyn Mathiesen read Remembering Babylon by David Malouf.

Remembering Babylon (820A MAL 1C REM) by David Malouf has a very small connection to a real life event. The name of a character and some words he speaks are taken from an event that really did happen at a similar location and time, but it is otherwise complete fiction.

Try to imagine the coastline of northern Queensland in the early to mid 1850’s, a twelve year old boy, Gemmy is washed up from a ship wreck and accepted by the native people of the area, somewhere roughly around the current site of Bowen. He spends sixteen years with these people and eventually discovers a white settlement that has established in the area.

David Malouf takes the stereotype of a white child raised by natives who re-enters the white community years later and approaches it in a fascinating way. Malouf is clear that the story is not that of Gemmy Morrill (or Moreell) apart from the few words spoken upon being discovered by white settlers, however he has used it as an opening to a story about life in northern Australia that describes the fear and fascination of living in such a wild place, it is telling that Gemmy avoids letting the white settlers know about his aboriginal clan, as he knows what that will lead to, but his position as someone not fully accepted in either world leads to a difficult ending.

Want to know more? Here's something about James ‘Jemmy’  Morrill from the Australian Dictionary of biography.

Sharon Bryan read Horace the Baker's Horse, by Jackie French.

Jackie French is something of a go-to writer for books based on true stories. Even Diary of a Wombat was loosely based on a real wombat. So it was an absolute delight to have a really good excuse to review Horace the Baker's Horse (c820.94 FREN), which is based on a story French's grandmother told her, about a baker's horse who delivered the bread by itself.

Horace is a baker's horse, and an indispensable part of the team. Three generations take care of baking the bread for the town (Old William, Big Bill and Young Billy), but Horace does the rounds of all the houses - usually with Big Bill holding the rains.

Then, one day, the flu epidemic sweeps through the town, and the bakers aren't immune. Old William succumbs first, then Big Bill. Young Billy does what he can to mix the dough through the night and bake the bread, but after working all night, he's too exhausted to deliver the bread. Horace, however, knows the route so well that he happily trots off and delivers the bread all by himself - becoming a life-line to many families brought down by the flu.

Peter Bray's illustrations are absolutely marvellous, and the combination of French's story and Bray's images make this a "must have" book, in my opinion. The depiction of an Australian country town in the early 20th Century is just gorgeous, and this book would make a wonderful gift. Not just for kids, either. While I was writing this review, several of my colleagues pinched the book off my desk to read (I had to go looking for it to get it back).

Thursday, 5 April 2018

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace - 6 April 2018

Australian Paralympic Committee
Sport can have a powerful influence on national identity and unity, as the recent Australian cricket scandal has shown. According to the United Nations,

Sport plays a significant role as a promoter of social integration and economic development in different geographical, cultural and political contexts. (It) is a powerful tool to strengthen social ties and networks, and to promote ideals of peace, fraternity, solidarity, non-violence, tolerance and justice.

These ideals are promoted through sporting events from the Commonwealth games, to weekend sport and backyard family activities. You can still buy tickets to some of the preliminary rounds and qualifying finals of the Commonwealth games basketball matches in Cairns this weekend. Whether as a spectator or a participant, we invite you to recognise and celebrate the importance of sport as a  fundamental human right for all people on Friday, 6 April.

If you would like to read more about how sport can be used as an agent for peace, look at these great resources from the library catalogue.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

52 Book Challenge - Week 14

Thanks to the public holiday on Monday, we're a little behind in issuing the next challenge in the 52 Book Reading Challenge, but here it is, without further ado (apart from this ado, which is waffling on far longer than necessary, to be perfectly frank):

14. A book based on a true story.

Once again, you've got a lot of room to play with this. As long as the book is based on events that actually happened, you've got yourself a book for this week's challenge.

But we'd like to draw your attention to a few challenges that are coming up shortly, as you may need to indulge in some advance planning.

Week 16 in the challenge is "a book with more than 500 pages", which can take a while to read, and you may need to get onto that sooner rather than later. Now, you can't narrow your search in our systems to the number of pages a book has, but it is possible to use One Search to see how many pages are in a book (even an eBook), as long as that information is in the system.

When you've searched for a book, click on the little magnifying glass with the word "Preview". One of the things you should see is the number of pages. This might not be available for all books, but it will help you discover that The Grapes of Wrath has 619 pages, while The Grapes of Math only has 337.

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

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Reading Challenge Week 13 - A book with a number in the title

The mathematically challenged amongst us might normally avoid books to do with numbers, but when the challenge is to read a book with a number in the title - well, that gives us plenty of scope to pretend we're numerically inclined without needing to do any of that pesky "counting" stuff.

Brenda Carter read The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.

Is uni life becoming a little dull, routine and unispiring? If so, you may need to read The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (840 DUM(P) 2C TRO/HER) and, for more numbers, its famous quote, “All for one and one for all”.

No doubt you’ve read an abridged version or watched at least one of the film adaptations at some stage, but the real thing is a greyer affair with our heroes – Dartagnon, Athos, Porthos and Aramis certainly not Disney characters. There’s even more swashbuckling action and intrigue, complete with swordplay, romance, fortunes won and lost, mistresses kept and stolen, poisoned wine, devious nobility, and vengeance sought and attained. It’s clear who the villians are (could there be a more despicable character than Milady?) but they and the musketeers are portayed as flawed individuals which makes for a more complex and enjoyable narrative. Having said that, you won’t be intellectually stretched by this novel but you’ll have a great escape with it when you need a break from reality.

Already read The Three Musketeers? If so, treat yourself to the sequel, Twenty Years After which has been described as a ‘thinking man's’ Blues Brothers, a ‘getting the band back together’ tale which is even better than the original. Twenty Years After is available as an ebook.

Nathan Miller read The Two Rainbow Serpents Travelling: Mura Track Narratives from the 'Corner Country' by Jeremy Beckett & Luise Hercus

Australian Aboriginal Traditional Stories, Songlines and Spirituality in Pairs or Twos.

When I was asked about stories with numbers in it, the traditional Aboriginal stories of pairs or two, -boys or animals or even two boys becoming animals- sprung to mind. I vigorously searched our collection and came up with some.

However this is the rub, in Australia these stories are not well known or published, and nor is their importance to contemporary Australia’s development. In Aboriginal Australia there are many songlines and spiritual creation stories that emphasis travel between water features- both natural and man made-especially in the more arid interior, similar to Old Testament stories. These stories helped Aboriginal people move about via an oral map, and for later Europeans the stories helped settlement, the pastoral industry and droving of livestock as Aboriginal people were often guides or workers. Many roads and modern highway follow these routes as well.

I grew up in South West Queensland and was lucky enough to hear from many different Aboriginal people from different groups and sometimes even other Australians aspects of these stories. If you want to read some stories, one version I found is The Two Rainbow Serpents Travelling: Mura Track Narratives from the 'Corner Country' (in print at 299.9215 BEC, or available online) by Jeremy Beckett & Luise Hercus (although they should be called compilers). To read a wider coverage of this topic and related landscape that include parts of the Two Boys songline (which is found nation wide) Aboriginal Dreaming Paths and Trading Routes: The Colonisation of the Australian Economic Landscape by Dale Kerwin.

Sharon Bryan read Now We Are Six by A. A. Milne.

It is a fact well known and widely acknowledged, although rarely mentioned out loud, that most librarians have a literary crush on at least one author. This is why many librarians have literary-themed tattoos – because they love a particular book (or a set of books) to pieces, and feel as if the works of that author are so entrenched under their skin that they may as well be etched into their skin as well.

I don’t currently have any literary tattoos, but if I did I’d probably have something by A. A. Milne. And/Or Lewis Carroll. But A. A. Milne is the author of the book I’m spruiking today: Now We Are Six (which we have as part of a collection called The World of Christopher Robin: Containing When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six, which you'll find at c820.81 MIL in the Curriculum Collection).

This is, essentially, the third book in the Winnie-the-Pooh books. The first, When We Were Very Young, is sort of a proto-Pooh book, in that the characters of the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood hadn’t been developed yet. This collection of poems falls between Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner and it was published during the height of Poohmania. If I can say “proto-Pooh” and “Poohmania”.

Personally, I don’t think it’s as good as When We Were Very Young, which had some heart-stoppingly good poems in it like “Spring Morning”, “The King’s Breakfast”, “Bad Sir Brian Botany” and the eternally beloved “Halfway Down” and “Vespers”.  But you can’t love Milne and not love Now We Are Six.  It does have its share of wonderful poems, like “King John’s Christmas”, and some well-loved favourites, like “Us Two” and “Forgiven”. And of course, like the other books in the series, it features the charming illustrations of E. H. Shepard. If you fancy yourself a fan of Winnie-the-Pooh, then this should be on your “to read” list – if you haven’t read it already.

Meanwhile, the book contains an E. H. Shepard illustration of a cat called “Tattoo”. I’m not sure if getting a tattoo of Tattoo would be an excellent literary in-joke, or just too much.