October 31, 2018
by library
0 comments

Book Recommendation: We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Image taken from Amazon.

Looking for something spooky to read under the covers with some tea tonight? Look no further than Shirley Jackson, the master of creeping dread and spooky suspense. You may know Jackson’s famous short story The Lottery from high school, or perhaps you have watched the recent Netflix reimagining of her classic The Haunting of Hill House. Her works are often described as horror, but the subtlety of her writing gives it something more universal. Her themes often focus on the dark side of domestic life and isolation, and they often feature agoraphobia and critiques of the expectations of traditional society.

Jackson also wrote nonfiction about what it was like to be a mother and manage a home, something she considered to hold its own degree of horror. Jackson also felt that she and her family were considered outcasts in her small New England town, and they experienced anti-Semitism in the insidious manner one sees in “civilized society”.  Toward the end of her life, she became so painfully agoraphobic she wouldn’t leave her bedroom. Much of what makes her fiction work horrific is because it is Jackson’s true-life experiences expressed through a fantastical lens, and as such there is something recognizable in it to all of us. We see how easy it could be for us to slip into some kind of madness, or for the precarious society around us to suddenly turn vicious. It is not gore or jump scares that make Jackson’s work terrifying, it is how she exposes the truth and ugliness in us all.

For this fall, I wanted to recommend a lesser talked about Jackson classic: We Have Always Lived in the Castle. This short (under 200 pages) novel is dark, twisted, unconventional, and incredibly beautiful. We enter into the lives of Mary Katherine (Merricat) and Constance Blackwood, two young women who live isolated in their large house with their wheelchair-bound uncle, Julian. The fractured family fell into disrepair after arsenic in the sugar bowl killed the rest of the Blackwoods half a decade ago. The only two who were not poisoned in the incident were Merricat and Constance, while Uncle Julian did not ingest enough of the poison to kill him. Constance, having been put on trial and then acquitted of the crime, now suffers from such extreme agoraphobia that she cannot leave the house. Uncle Julian is so much diminished from the poisoning that he struggles to keep one foot in reality. He depends on his nieces to care for him, which they do lovingly. The town is happy to keep them isolated, making disparaging comments and singing a haunting little nursery rhyme about the murders whenever Merricat comes near. And it is only ever Merricat that leaves their extensive grounds to go grocery shopping and run quick errands.

Continue Reading →

October 10, 2018
by library
0 comments

The Year of Ireland Book Display

Every year, the JKM Library creates displays of books and resources related to the country selected as the Global Focus country for that academic year. This year, Chatham has selected Ireland! The Year of Ireland display highlights books written by notable Irish authors or written about Ireland’s history, culture, politics, etc. The intention is to make resources available to the Chatham community so you may further educate yourselves on the country of focus selected by the university.

The display can be found on the first floor of the library in the lobby area next to the New Books display. All the materials on the Year of Ireland display are available to be checked out with your Chatham ID card. Wondering if we have a specific book that you don’t see on display? Ask a librarian! We can check our catalog for any materials you’re looking for.

Some items on display include the following. To browse more, click here!

  • Dublin: The Making of a Capital City by David Dickson
  • The Gathering by Anne Enright
  • The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-1849 by Cecil Woodham Smith
  • Ireland’s Pirate Queen: The True Story of Grace O’Malley by Anne Chambers
  • Time and Tide by Edna O’Brien
  • Women and Politics in Contemporary Ireland: From the Margins to the Mainstream by Yvonne Galligan
  • Stories by Elizabeth Bowen
  • The Princeton History of Modern Ireland edited by Richard Bourke & Ian McBride
  • At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O’Brien
  • The Course of Irish History edited by T.W. Moody and F.X. Martin
  • The Dancers Dancing by Eilís Ní Dhuibhne
  • Death and Nightingales: A Novel by Eugene McCabe
  • Ireland in Prehistory by Michael Herity and George Eogan

August 29, 2018
by library
0 comments

Textbooks in the Library!

For the first time ever, the library is able to offer limited textbooks for checkout! We understand how expensive textbooks can be, which is why we have embraced an idea brought to us by members of the Chatham Student Government. We now accept student textbook donations for our circulating collection. What does this mean? Well, it means that you as a student can check out any of the textbooks we have in our limited collection for four (4) days to use for classwork. You can browse the textbook collection on the third floor next to our Olkes collection. You can find them on the shelf to the right as you walk out of the elevator. If you find a book you think will be helpful, you can check it out at the Circulation Desk downstairs on the first floor.

Because these textbooks were donations from your peers, they might not be the most recent editions. This also means that our selection is still small since we rely on you for textbook donations. So what if you want to donate your old textbooks? First of all, thank you! You’re helping your fellow students decrease the cost of their education. In order to donate your textbooks to the library, bring them to either the Reference or Circulation Desk on the first floor.


Faculty are also encouraged to donate materials and make use of our Course Reserve service by putting materials (such as books, DVDs, or articles) on reserve in the library for your students to access. You can learn more about Course Reserve here.

We know that there will still be books for class that you won’t be able to find in our library, but don’t worry! You can still check E-ZBorrow or ILLiad to see if another library has what you need. If you have any questions about our textbook collection or how to find books for class, please contact a librarian! We’re available through email, phone, chat, text, and in person at the Reference Desk, and we’re always happy to help!

April 23, 2018
by library
0 comments

National Poetry Month 2018: Suggested Reads!

April is National Poetry Month, and we at the JKM Library have a soft spot in our literary hearts for poetry. This month, student workers Alie Davis and Carina Stopenski worked together to design and curate our Main Book Display. Items selected ranged from classics like Sylvia Plath to Chatham students’ chapbooks and everything in between.

While all the poetry collections on display are worth checking out and exploring, Alie Davis has selected three that stand out to her. Read her bite-sized reviews below for poetry collections you can check out today!

Andrea Gibson’s first book, Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns, inspires action in all of its readers. This collection is brimming with brutal tenderness. Gibson covers topics that are relevant to the current political climate. This collection is full of poems about gender, love, violence, and an overwhelming optimism for surviving no matter what.

 

Lori Jakiela, a local Pittsburgh poet, released her chapbook, Big Fish in 2016. This collection sings with humor, playfulness, and light, but does not shy away from the hard things. Jakiela writes about landscape, motherhood, and giant fish sandwiches. Big Fish is a rich collection to dive into and swim through.

 

Lighthead by Terrance Hayes is his fourth collection to be published. Always blurring the line between story and song, and reality and dream, Hayes engages with how we ground ourselves in the everyday and how we construct experience. Musical and dream-like, Lighthead offers meditations on desires and history. Masterful precision of language and sound moves this collection to a Must-Read for all.

March 12, 2018
by library
0 comments

Placing Holds on JKM Library Items

Ever found a great JKM library book while doing research from your dorm, office, or home? Wish you could have placed a hold on that item so you could pick it up later?

Well now you can!

Look for a link to “Place hold” when searching our library catalog via the Books+ tab on our website. When you are prompted to login, enter your Chatham username and password, and then you’ll be able to place a hold for the item. We will pull it from the shelves and hold it for you for 14 days.

Please be aware that if someone else finds the item on the shelf before we have a chance to pull it for you, they will be allowed to check it out.

Lastly, for items that are checked out or missing, use E-ZBorrow (for books) or ILLiad (for books not available in E-ZBorrow, as well as DVDs and CDs) to order them from other libraries instead of placing a hold. You’ll get them much faster that way.

Any questions? Ask a librarian!

Skip to toolbar