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More Banned Books Week Reflections: Ban Book Banning October 19, 2012

Filed under: what do you think? — DePaul UCWbL @ 09:00 am
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The first week of October is one of my favorites. I love the coming of fall, Halloween, and pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks. I also love the idea of an entire week dedicated to celebrating reading–and not just any reading, but the reading of banned books. I’ve never been much of a rebel, but this week is definitely one that even makes me want to break the rules. (more…)


DePaul’s Banned Books Week Events (Doesn’t Include Banning Books) September 27, 2012

Banned Books Week runs September 30 through October 6. Along with DePaul University Libraries we are celebrating free speech all week long! See the details after the jump. (more…)


Paperback 4ever: A Reader’s Manifesto May 22, 2012

Filed under: what do you think? — Mallory G. @ 10:18 am
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I will be the first to admit that I’m a proud techie.  Gadgets, blogs, e-readers, and all things digital – bring them on.  But with reading, it’s a little different.  Even with an iPad and easy access to e-books, I just can’t give up my paperbacks.  I tried going digital, tried buying up classics from the 99cent page, tried downloading new releases instead of paying twice as much for them in-store, but for books that I really care about, digital isn’t even an option.  I need the book in hand, in tote bag, in cafés and on couches and with me for the long haul.  This isn’t a rant against readers who prefer digital – sometimes, in certain cases, I’m one of them – but in praise of traditional books and everything they offer.  People like to say print is dead, but the digital revolution has, if anything, made me more aware of how dependent I am on “slow media” and how I’m really, deeply, insanely in love with books. (more…)


The Best Part of Summer: Summer Reading May 15, 2012

Filed under: what do you think? — Mallory G. @ 08:09 am
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With Spring Quarter winding down and the weather approaching something we might be able to call “summery” (because, let’s face it, it’s the best we’re going to get as Chicagoans), I’m starting to feel like reading for myself again.  As a kid I was always happy for summer to come around; no class meant a lot of free time to myself, and absolute freedom in my reading choices.  In college and when class is in session – and especially when you’re an English major like me – it’s hard to justify reading for pleasure.  We already have a lengthy reading list from our professors to get through.  While reading and feeling enamored of Super Sad True Love Story for a class and realizing how much I miss reading on my own, however, I started drafting a list of “to-read” books for this summer.  So, with summer fast approaching, what should I read?  What do you want to read?  With that in mind, I’m listing my options and hopefully I’ll inspire some readers to take up my choices (or choose their own).  Unless I designate, I haven’t read these books, so my deep apologies if you try one and dislike it.  Suggestions for what I should read or what you should read are definitely welcome in the comments. (more…)


National Poetry Month: Only Iron Men Rust in the Rain May 4, 2012

Today’s poem in celebration of the end of this year’s National Poetry Month in April is a beautiful short poem called “Rain” by the Iranian poet Ali Abdolrezaei — a fitting selection given last night’s warm thunder/hail/lightning storm in Chicago. (more…)


National Poetry Month: “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” April 27, 2012

This week’s installment for National Poetry Month is the ballad “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” by Goethe, a man best known for his contributions to literature as well as poetry, science and philosophy. Written in 1797, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” was adapted as a symphonic poem by Paul Dukas  for Walt Disney’s 1940 movie Fantasia (listen to a sample here), where the apprentice is none other than Mickey Mouse. You can watch the acclaimed, dialogue-free animation in its entirety here. Watch the clip after reading the poem to decide how true to the original text you find the adaptation. (more…)


CMWR’s Friday Forum is Back! February 24, 2012

The CMWR’s Friday Forum is up and running for Winter Quarter, and this conversation-based group reads through a short text on different aspects of American culture and analyzes it together. Last week we read an article from DePaul’s student newspaper called “G8/NATO summits, security could cost up to $65 million,” a topic that is especially relevant for us Chicagoans, and invoked great discussion on the impacts that the summits will have on the city. (more…)


Our Books, Ourselves January 24, 2012

Filed under: what do you think? — Mallory G. @ 13:38 pm
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Question time: would you think less of someone for reading a certain book or kind of book?  Might you form an opinion about the person sitting across from you on the train based on whether they were reading James Joyce or James Patterson?  Reading this great article by Madeleine Crum got me thinking about how genre – in this case, “literary fiction,” a particularly tricky animal – guides our perceptions and preconceptions about a book and, by extension, the person reading it.  What does genre really mean, and what does it mean for the reader?  For instance, to Crum “literary fiction” too often implies a lot of other things about the book – White, Male, European, “modernist,” etc.  It’s also a value judgment, as Crum notes, when we distinguish between “literary fiction” and “genre fiction” (i.e., sci-fi, mystery, horror, and romance).  High-brow and low-brow, in short.  What does this mode of classification mean for us as readers, though? (more…)


Ishmael in Space: Discussing Moby-Dick on the Web November 9, 2011

I’ve never read Moby-Dick. Yes. I’m an English major, and I haven’t read it. It wasn’t assigned in high school, and the quarter system here at DePaul just doesn’t seem to lend itself to a highly involved and intellectual read. I’ve put it off in my private life for other reasons too.  There’s this mythology around the Great White Whale in American culture that is frankly, quite frightening.

“Call me Ishmael.” (more…)


Serial Reader November 1, 2011

It never fails.  Finals approaching, deadlines hanging in the air, more projects to do than I can actually hold in my head at one time, and what do I do?  Start a new book that’s totally unrelated to my classes.  It could be stress relief or denial or simply habit but when the going gets tough, I retreat into my living room with tea and a good book. (more…)