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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written while Nabokov’s most famous novel Lolita (also a contender for this week’s challenge) was finished but remained unpublished.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.

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From Swords to Ploughshares: Townsville men and women who served their community in war and peace

November 11, 2018 marks the centenary of the Armistice that ended the First World War. Reflecting on this anniversary provides us with a unique opportunity to consider the connections between war and peace. People who volunteered to serve during World War I left lives behind: some of those who returned built military careers, some continued to use and develop their professional skills, while other set about contributing to the civic and recreational life of their communities.

This exhibition developed by James Cook University, commemorates the contributions of Townsville’s service men and women to the creation of peace and a flourishing community in Townsville. ‘From Swords to Ploughshares’ seeks to explore the stories of those who returned from military service and resumed their civilian lives, and recognises the roles they have played in developing their town, region, and country; along with their contribution to a lasting peace.


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Welcome to Your Library

The beginning of semester is a time for finding your feet and figuring out where everything is.

Whether you are an on-campus student or if you can only visit the campus occasionally, you'll probably find yourself spending time in our libraries. Just to help you find your way around, here's a quick idea of what you'll be able to do in our buildings.

Borrow books, DVDs and more.

Obviously a library has things you can borrow. In addition to books, we also have DVDs, CDs, sheet music and more. You'll need your student or staff card (it's also your library card) to check out anything you want to take out of the building.

In addition to the main collection, where most of our borrowable material is held, we also have a Curriculum Collection (where all the best books are), reference collections, special collections and print journals. You can find yourself looking in the wrong place, so don't hesitate to ask any library staff for help. Take a look at the location inform…

Examination Super Hours, 1st Semester 2019

Examination Super Hours run from the 3rd of June until the last week of scheduled exams, on Friday 21st June.

Opening hours are extended to give students extra use of the library's study spaces during study vac and exams.

During this time, when a lot of students are feeling stressed, we ask that you be mindful of the other people using the library spaces and share the space with good will and kindness - keeping in mind the Client Service Charter and Library Use Policy.

Or just remember our unofficial motto:
Be Excellent to Each Other
The Eddie Koiki Mabo Library on the Townsville Campus will have the following hours:

Main buildingMon-Fri, 7.30am-12.00am (midnight)Sat-Sun, 10.00am-10.00pmServicesMon-Fri, 7.30am-12.00am (midnight)Sat-Sun, 10.00am-10.00pmInformation Commons and iLearning Rooms on the Ground Floor - 24 hrs.
The Cairns Library will be open for the following hours:

Main buildingMon-Fri, 7.30am-12.00am (midnight)Sat-Sun, 10.00am-12.00am (midnight)ServicesMon-Fri, 8.00am-8.0…