Tag Archives: Library Faculty Recommendations

Library Faculty Recommendations: Popular Collection

Written by Georgianne Bordner, University Librarian

Are you looking forward to Christmas break, when you’ll have time to read something that’s not required for your classes? Be sure to check out the Library’s Popular Collection, now located at the top of the stairs near Room 213. This small collection contains a wide variety of books that are perfect for leisure reading, including a few popular non-fiction books such as The Purpose-Driven Life and a number of Christian biographies, in addition to the Christian fiction that forms the bulk of the collection.

The Curate's Awakening, by George MacDonald
The Curate's Awakening, by George MacDonald

Those who enjoy classic Christian fiction might be interested in the works of Scottish Victorian novelist and clergyman George MacDonald, who influenced C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkein, G. K. Chesterton, and other popular authors. Some of his best-known works are his fantasies Phantastes and Lilith, both located in the Library’s general collection, but he is also recognized for his realistic “theological novels,” which are well represented in the Popular Collection. Most of the editions found in the Popular Collection have been updated for modern readers by editor Michael Phillips. These include The Curate’s Awakening, originally titled Thomas Wingfold, Curate, which may be one of MacDonald’s best-loved novels. Like most of his works, this story of an agnostic clergyman who eventually comes to faith through a series of dramatic events contains many spiritual truths as well as a good story.

Those who prefer something more contemporary may enjoy Terri Blackstock’s suspense novels, which weave themes of faith and interpersonal relationships into exciting mystery stories. For example, in Private Justice, the first volume in the Newpointe 911 series, a fireman and his wife work to save their marriage and renew their commitment to God while trying to catch a serial killer. In addition to this title, the Library holds the rest of this series, the popular Restoration series, and other titles by this popular author.

The Crown and the Crucible, by Michael Phillips and Judith Pella
The Crown and the Crucible, by Michael Phillips and Judith Pella

Finally, fans of historical fiction might like the works of Michael Phillips and Judith Pella. If you are interested in Russian history and culture and are looking forward to the events surrounding the Big Read of Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich, you may be interested in Phillips’ and Pella’s series The Russians. Set in pre-revolutionary Russia, this series follows the saga of two families, one aristocratic and one peasant, setting their fictional stories in the true historical framework of the period. You’ll want to start with volume one, The Crown and the Crucible, and continue reading all seven volumes of the series.

If none of these suggestions appeal to you, don’t worry – The Popular Collection contains a wide variety of other popular titles from which to choose. Come see for yourself!

 

Library Faculty Recommendations: Finding playscripts

Written by Jon Ritterbush, Associate Librarian

Locating the full-text of playscripts can sometimes be challenging, but with the addition of new online resources at Regent University Library, the prospects for finding these scripts has improved.

If you know the title or author of a play you’re searching for…

the best starting point is often the library catalog.  A keyword search for a play such as Our Town may yield some helpful results including performances on VHS or DVD, and printed copies in other anthologies.   Even though the titles of some of these books may not include the phrase Our Town, it’s possible this play will be listed in the table of contents or other notes, which are captured through a keyword search. For an example, see this link to “Twelve American Plays” in the library catalog, and click on the More Details tab to discover which plays are included in this book.

If your catalog searches produce no results, or if you want to browse for plays…

Play Index is an excellent database for searching by title, author, subject, casting mix or genre.   Play Index includes citations for over 30,000 plays written since antiquity and published after 1949.   As a sample of its scope, Play Index identifies 52 plays with a subject of “crucifixion,” 90 plays about “prejudice,” and 118 plays about “poverty.”

Most citations within Play Index will include a brief abstract of the play, the number of acts and/or scenes, the number of cast members, and additional subject descriptors.   Play Index does not contain full-text playscripts, but it does provide a helpful link labeled “Find this play in a book”.

Screen capture from Play Index
Screen capture from Play Index

Following this link will lead to a list of titles where this play is published, including any anthologies or collections of plays.  For example, someone searching Play Index for Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard would learn there are 39 books that include the full text of this play, some of which are here at Regent according to the library catalog.

If you are looking for full-text playscripts online…

try this new database at Regent University Library: Twentieth Century North American Drama. This database provides full text to over 1,200 plays, and like Play Index, has the ability to browse by author, subject and date. Some 37 works of Thornton Wilder, including Our Town, are available in full-text through this database, as well as other works by American authors such as Zora Neale Hurston, Booth Tarkington and Langston Hughes.