Category Archives: News Features

Book Discussion: Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton

efAt only 100 pages (Penguin edition), Ethan Frome may be the shortest masterpiece in American literature.

Edith Wharton’s tale of forbidden emotions is set on a New England farm in the first decade of the twentieth century. Ethan Frome works and struggles to maintain a bearable existence with his suspicious and hypochondriac wife, Zeenie. But when Zeenie’s vivacious cousin enters their household as a “hired girl,” Ethan finds himself obsessed with her and the dream of happiness she comes to represent. In one of American fiction’s most intense narratives, Wharton moves the ill-starred characters toward their tragic destinies.

On Friday, December 9, professor of literature and film Pete Fraser will moderate a discussion of Ethan Frome. The discussion will take place at 12:00 in the Library Conference Room. We will also view a clip from the 1993 film adaptation starring Liam Neeson, Patricia Arquette, and Joan Allen. The Library has multiple print and electronic copies of the book.

Distance students and faculty are invited to us via Google Hangouts.

For a complete schedule of 2016-2017 book discussions, see the Library Book Club webpage.

Hone your strategic thinking at the Library

The Library's Go set features a heavy bamboo board and natural stone playing pieces.

The Library’s Go set features a heavy bamboo board and natural stone playing pieces.

When two tigers fight, what is left is
one dead tiger and one wounded one.
-Chinese Proverb

Go is a board game that originated in China more than 5,000 years ago. Like chess, Go has always been regarded as a tool for developing strategic thinking, but the mentalities required for success in the two games could hardly be more different.

Chess is a metaphor of decisive battle. Each player strives to capture the opponent’s king by annihilating his capacity to resist. This means that the strategic sense developed by chess is one where the object is total victory.

In contrast to chess’ emphasis on calculation, Go emphasizes judgement. Therefore, Go seems to resemble business or international relations more than warfare. The object is not to destroy, but to build territory. In Go, patience is essential, and greed is punished.

Go writer Peter Shotwell writes that “Japanese executives learned to look at the national and international corporate worlds as Go boards and designed many of their strategies accordingly…One should try to win, but that had to involve allowing the opponent to win something too, because all-out fights might destroy both competitors.”*

The Library has a new professional quality Go set, in front of the reference desk. We hope this set will inspire some of our students to learn about this rich and beautiful game. Intrigued? Check out this short tutorial on the rules:


If you are interested in learning to play Go, contact Harold Henkel at harohen@regent.edu for suggestions on getting started.

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*Peter Shotwell, Go! More Than a Game, (Ruland, VT: Tuttle Publishing, 2003), xi. http://library.regent.edu/record=b1545173~S0

 

Book Discussion: The Secret Chord, by Geraldine Brooks

SecretChordGeraldine Brooks is one of the great living writers of historical fiction. Having published acclaimed novels set during the 1666 plague in England, the American Civil War, and Puritan Massachusetts, Brooks’ latest work takes on the daunting challenge of bringing the United Monarchy of King David to life.

Expanding on the spare Biblical narrative, The Secret Chord traces the arc of David’s journey from shepherd to soldier, from hero to betrayer, from beloved king to murderous despot, and into his remorseful old age. We see David through the eyes of those who love him or fear him—from the prophet Natan, voice of his conscience, to his wives Mikhal, Avigail, and Batsheva, and finally to Solomon, the late-born son who redeems his old age.

The Library owns four copies of The Secret Chord. The book is also widely available from public libraries in print and audio form. Our discussion of will take place on Tuesday, September 27 at 12:00pm in the Library Conference Room. A Biblical snack will be served.

Distance students and faculty are invited to join the discussion via Google Hangouts. For a complete schedule of 2016-2017 book discussions, see the Library Book Club webpage.

New Discovery Tool: Summon

SummonLogo1The Library has a subscription to a premium discovery tool from ProQuest.

Summon® gives you the power to search nearly all of the Library’s print and online resources at once, including items such as:

  • Print and electronic books
  • Scholarly journals
  • Magazines and newspapers
  • Dissertations and theses
  • Streaming videos
  • Open access collections

Summon’s filters and limiters allow you to search millions of items on your topic and zero in on the most relevant books, articles, and videos in the Library’s collections.

Summon is a great place to begin any research project because it searches easy-to-overlook databases and e-book collections. Ready to get started? This video from ProQuest will explain the basics of searching for content, refining the results, and saving citations:

After watching this short tutorial, you will be ready to take Summon for a test drive. Click here to get started.

After trying a few basic searches in Summon, you may want to watch this “beyond the basics” tutorial:

As always, the Library welcomes comments and suggestions about our electronic resources. Please use our evaluation form to send feedback about Summon or any of our databases.

Library Book Club Reading Schedule 2016-2017

Read literature, and argue the great questions of life with the likes of Leo Tolstoy.

One of the most famous openings in literature is the beginning of Anna Karenina: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Because Tolstoy is one the supreme writers of all time, readers have tended to accept his claim about families as a piece of incontrovertible wisdom. Reader and essayist David P. Goldman, however, argues that Tolstoy got it exactly backwards: “…unhappy families are all unhappy in the same way. It is happy families that are different, because every child is radically unique, such that raising children is the one human activity that is sure to surprise.”*

Goldman’s riposte to Tolstoy brings to mind three reasons on why it is essential that we read literature throughout our lives:

  1. To gain new perspectives, to see the world through other people’s eyes.
  2. To “converse” with the great authors through engagement with their works.
  3. To understand ourselves better.

The mission of the Library Book Club is to encourage the reading of great literature by bringing members of the Regent and CBN communities together to enjoy the unique pleasure of reading and discussing books. For our tenth year, we have assembled a schedule of five classics from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, one acclaimed historical novel about the life of King David, a selection of modern Hebrew poems (our first foray into poetry), a history monograph, and a contemporary memoir. So we hope there’s something for everyone!

Library Book Club Schedule 2016 – 2017

Month Author Title Date & Time
September Geraldine Brooks The Secret Chord Sept 27 at 12:00
October John Allembillah Azumah The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa (Dr. Joseph N. Kickasola, discussion moderator) Oct 28 at 12:00
December Edith Wharton Ethan Frome Dec 9 at 12:00
January Shusaku Endo Silence Jan 31 at 12:00
February Ta-Nehisi Coates Between the World and Me Feb 27 at 12:00
March John Bunyan The Pilgrim’s Progress Mar 31 at 12:00
April Yehuda Amichai The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai (Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman, discussion moderator) Apr 21 at 1:00
June Charlotte Brontë Jane Eyre June 30 at 12:00
July Elizabeth George Speare The Bronze Bow July 28 at 12:00

Time & Location

Book Club meetings usually take place at noon during the final week of each month in the Library Conference Room. The day of the week depends on the availability and preference of readers. To request a day, send an e-mail message to Harold Henkel (harohen@regent.edu). Check the events tab on the Library Facebook Group for confirmed dates and times. Tea and refreshments are served, and participants are welcome to bring a lunch.

Distance students and faculty welcome

Distance students and faculty are invited to join discussions via Google Hangouts, Google’s free videoconferencing service. Here is the permanent link for all Library Hangout events: https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_/event/c0lnc83s5ok7tecuqdcnjg0mcno?authuser=0&eid=100028809078157626561&hl=en.

For more information about the Book Club, see our website or contact Harold Henkel.

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*David P. Goldman, “Thanks, but I already have a novel,” Asia Times Online, January 29, 2013, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/OA29Aa01.html.