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Turn Off Your TV Book Club: Faculty Recommendations

faculty suggestions of significant books

Maus (graphic novel)

Maus: A Survivor’s Tale
by Art Spiegelman

LibraryThing entry (reviews and related material)

Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman

This is probably the first graphic text that mainstream readers encountered.  Spiegelman comes from the underground comix movement (like Crumb), but here he creates a powerful metaphorical treatment of the Nazi holocaust by appropriating the ‘funny animal book’ genre.  A finalist for the National Book award, Maus is an example of how powerful graphic narratives can be.

You might also want to check out: Will Eisner A Contract With God

Matt Costello, Professor of Political Science

Batman: The Dark Knight

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
by Frank Miller

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Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank…

Frank Miller’s justly famous treatment of the caped crusader from 1986.  Building on his success with Daredevil Miller ushers in what will come to be known as the ‘grim and gritty’ movement of superhero comics.  More importantly, along with Moore and Gibbons’ Watchmen and Chaykin’s American Flagg!!, this is one of the seminal texts of the 1980s that begins to offer a critical encounter with American political power through a deconstruction of the superhero genre itself.  While both Batman Year One and Daredevil: Born Again (with Dave Mazzucchelli) are artistically and narratively superior, Dark Knight has a much deeper ideological engagement with its genre.

You might also want to check out:
Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Watchmen (1987)
Howard Chayklin. American Flagg!! (1983)
Batman: Year 1 (1988)
Daredevil: Born Again (1987)

Matt Costello, Professor of Political Science

Sandman, Vol. 1

Sandman, vol. 1
by Neil Gaiman

LibraryThing entry (reviews and related material)

The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil…

Neil Gaiman has become a mainstream novelist, but he made his bones on Sandman, a gothic comic book from the 1990’s that built on the gothic traditions of DC comics, but added his own vision of transcendental, eternal figures.  Drawn mostly by Mike Keith and Sam Dringenberg, Sandman is visually challenging as well as intellectually stimulating.

You might also want to check out:
Grant Morrison and john Nyberg. Doom Patrol (1989)
Alan Moore and Steve Bissette. Swamp Thing (1984)

Matt Costello, Professor of Political Science

Making Comics

Making Comics
by Scott McCloud

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Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of…

Scott McCloud’s Making Comics follows on his two previous volumes.  Using the techniques of graphic narratives McCloud offers insights into how to construct sequential art narratives.  An award-winning graphic cartoonist, McCloud’s work is essential if you want to understand how to read and tell graphic stories.

You might also want to check out:
Scott McCloud: Understanding Comics (1993)
Will Eisner: Comics and Sequential Art (1985)
Will Eisner: Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative (1996)

The Joy of Music


The Joy of Music.
by Bernstein, Leonard Published 1959
Call Number: ML60 .B47 1959

LibraryThing entry (reviews and related material). 

The Joy of Music by Leonard Bernstein

   For those who already have some background in Symphonic classical music, this book is a great way to start understanding things at a higher level. "Lenny" was truly a visionary conductor/composer/author, and this book, while cerebral at times, is still very attainable.

Jeff Malecki, D.M.A.
Director of Bands and Orchestra

Mr. Darwin's Shooter: A Novel

Mr. Darwin's Shooter: A Novel
Book by Roger McDonald

LibraryThing entry (reviews and related material).

Mr. Darwin's Shooter by Roger McDonald

    Mr Darwin's Shooter is a 1998 novel by Roger McDonald. It describes the life of Syms Covington, manservant to Charles Darwin on the voyage of the Beagle.

A great story.

Rudyard Sadleir
Assistant Professor, Biology

The Bourbaki Gambit

The Bourbaki Gambit
by Carl Djerass

LibraryThing entry (reviews and related material).

The Bourbaki Gambit by Carl Djerassi

   This novella is interesting because of the intent of the author.  He is a chemist who wanted to popularize a “new” genre of fiction he called, “science in fiction.” It does a good job dramatizing the political and social dynamics that are behind all scientific research.

Rudyard Sadleir
Assistant Professor, Biology

Blackboard: A personal history of the classroom.

Blackboard: A personal history of the classroom.  Author: Lewis Buzbee.

ISBN:9781555976835.

LibraryThing entry  (reviews and related material).

Blackboard: A Personal History of the…

     Buzbee's book is critical of the politicalization of education. His special lament for disappearance of fine arts will appeal to professors of arts and sciences as well as those in the school of education.

Ellen D. Lilly, Ed.D
Adjunct Instructor
School of Education

Getting Schooled: the reeducation of an American teacher.

Getting Schooled: the reeducation of an American teacher. Author: Garret Keizer.

ISBN:9780805096439.

LibraryThing entry  (reviews and related material).

Getting Schooled: The Reeducation of an…

     This is a new book, with the author comparing his first year as a high school teacher many years ago with his return to the classroom recently after years as a writer in between. Those frustrated with today's tests and standards will be sympathetic to the author' tale.

Ellen D. Lilly, Ed.D
Adjunct Instructor
School of Education

Legacies: the story of the immigrant second generation.

Legacies: the story of the immigrant second generation, 1st Ed. Authors: Alejandro Portes & Ruben Rumbaut.

ISBN: 9780520228481.

LibraryThing entry  (reviews and related material).

Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second…


     This offers explanation & analysis of unique cultural reactions of second generation individuals navigating between two worlds. It helped me understand my own parent's ambivalence and is helpful to those of us teaching our students who are children of immigrants.

Ellen D. Lilly, Ed.D
Adjunct Instructor
School of Education

Wooden

"Wooden"  - by UCLA basketball Coach John Wooden with Steve Jamison.

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Wooden by John Wooden

      For motivation from both the teacher and the student perspective, his simple way to get to common truths cuts across all walks of life.   I tend to read inspirational (sports related books).  Not sure if the student (players) of today would agree with all the old-fashion ways, but, although a different era, his success was unmatched.  

Frank Recchia
Asst Prof Lecturer
Graham School of Management

How Not To Be Wrong

How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg

LibraryThing entry  (reviews and related material). 

How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of…

  If you have ever taken a mathematics course and wondered, or even dared to ask, "When am I going to use this?", then How Not To Be Wrong​ will surely satisfy your curiosity. The author, Jordan Ellenberg, weaves a broad scope of mathematical topics from fascinating real-life situations into entertaining stories that will appeal to math enthusiasts and general audiences alike.

Kristen R. Schreck, D.A.
Assistant Professor, Mathematics
 

The Time of Our Singing

The Time of Our Singing by Richard Powers.

LibraryThing entry (reviews and related material). 

The Time of Our Singing by Richard Powers

   The book delicately follows the lives of two intersecting families during the Civil Rights movement in the United States. Over two generations, the characters attempt to integrate into the white mainstream field of music. There is also an in-depth discussion of mathematical physics and time. The book is dense with ideas and historical references, as are all of Powers' works. It will leave you more sensitive to alternative perspectives and more aware of music and mathematical physics.

  David Stern
  Library Director

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls  by David Sedaris

LibraryThing entry (reviews and related material). 

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by…

   Sedaris had me doubled over with laughter once again.  His hilarious and insightful commentary on various of issues of the day is spot on.  The book ends with a brief collection of the worst, but side splitting poetry about pets you will ever encounter.  I heard Sedaris read at a bookstore in Seattle that had a huge food court with all sorts of cuisine available, including tex-mex and I actually met him briefly right before the reading as we were washing our hands at the sink in the mens room.  I said, "You're the man of the hour, everyone is hear to see you." And he replied, "I think they're just here for the nachos."

Brad Mello, Chair
Department of Communication

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