Dystopia Week Wednesday

Matched by Ally Condie In the Society all your life choices are made for you: what job you do, the place you live, what belongings you may have and who you marry. If the authorities can control these aspects of your life then the rest of the country can be controlled as well. The story opens with the night of Cassia’s matching ceremony. She, with all other 17-year-old girls, is patiently waiting her turn to see her match displayed on the giant screen in the banquet room. But when her name is called…continue reading →

Dystopia Week Tuesday

Divergent by Veronica Roth Here’s the setting: Chicago sometime in the future. As in The Hunger Games, society has evolved  into a new arrangement of the population. At 16 years old you choose the faction of society you feel best suits your character—the brave, the peaceful, the honest, etc. Each part has a different role to play. Although her family belongs to Abnegation (the selfless) Tris chooses to join Dauntless (the brave), those responsible for protecting their fellow citizens but who Tris’s father calls “hellions.” Tris, like Katniss in The Hunger Games, shows…continue reading →

Dystopia Week

With finals starting this week you may feel like you are living in your own personal dystopia. Keeping that in mind, this week and throughout exam week I will be posting a book blurb on some of the dystopian fiction owned by the John Tyler libraries. I like the definition the Purdue English department gives for dystopia (of course I like it—they are the same people who brings us the incomparable Purdue OWL!): “An imagined universe (usually the future of our own world) in which a worst-case scenario is explored; the opposite of…continue reading →

April is National Poetry Month

“April is the cruelest month” begins T. S. Eliot’s famous poem The Waste Land. But April is actually pretty kind, at least to poetry, because in 1996 the American Academy of Poets established April as National Poetry Month making it a great time to find great new poetry or remember your old favorites. The library has anthologies of classic poetry and volumes of contemporary poetry. In fact, John Tyler Community College even has a published poet among our faculty. Angela Vogel, a lecturer in the English department has written Fort Gorgeous and Social…continue reading →

How does your garden grow?

Or should I ask does your garden grow? Here in central Virginia we have had colder than normal temperatures this spring. Despite that the longer hours of daylight have many people thinking of planting, tilling and eventually reaping a bountiful harvest. Gardening tips abound both on the web and in print. The Virginia Cooperative Extension, part of Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, has tons of information on gardening and landscaping for both homeowners and farmers. It also has links to county extension offices including… the Chesterfield County Extension Office which is offering…continue reading →

So you want to be President…

Or a teacher or an artist or a nurse or maybe you don’t even know what you want to be when you “grow up.” Because that is one of the toughest decisions you will ever make and there are so many paths to choose this is a good time for you to examine your options closely. Fortunately there are lots of resources to support your investigations. If you have taken SDV100 you are probably familiar with Ginny and the Virginia Education Wizard. Some other websites that offer career advice and planning are: CareerOneStop…continue reading →

Oscar Winners at JTCC Libraries

This Sunday is the 85th Academy Awards. Who are you hoping to see win? The nominees run the gamut from foreign language (Amour) to history (Lincoln, Argo) to musical (Les Miserables) and everything in between. And don’t forget the Virginia connections. Lincoln was filmed right here in central Virginia and Richmond native Michael Gottwald is a producer of Beasts of the Southern Wild. If Sunday’s ceremony has you reminiscing about previous winners, you can find these best picture DVDs at the John Tyler libraries: 2005: Crash 2001: A Beautiful Mind 2000: Gladiator 1998:…continue reading →

Happy Valentine’s Day from LibrarySpace

If thoughts of love are roaming around in your head this week maybe that’s a sign you should be coming into the library. Here are some new library items with love in the title. You just might find one of them irresistible. Dirty minds :  how our brains influence love, sex, and relationships /  Kayt Sukel Eat what you love, love what you eat, with diabetes /  Michelle May Ethical chic :  the inside story of the companies we think we love /  Fran Hawthorne The falling sky :  the science and history…continue reading →

Happy Year of the Snake!

  The Chinese New Year begins this Sunday, February 10. Unlike in the west, the Chinese New Year follows the lunar calendar and, according to Chase’s Annual Events , begins “on the day of the second New Moon following the winter solstice.” According to the 12 year cycle of the Chinese zodiac this makes Sunday, February 10 the first day of the Year of the Snake and a great inducement to learn more about these often despised reptiles. Do you love snakes or loathe them? Herpetologists (scientists who study snakes and other reptiles…continue reading →

Fiction Friday: The Secret Keeper

The Secret Keeper, a new novel by Australian author Kate Morton opens in 1961 with young Laurel Nicolson witnessing her mother stab a strange, sinister man.  Moving back and forth through time and space the events leading up to that moment are slowly uncovered. Fifty years after the stabbing Laurel’s mother is dying. Recognizing that she doesn’t have much time to learn the secrets of her mother’s past, Laurel and her brother Gerry embark on an investigation. Did the strange man have any association with their mother? What was their mother’s connection to…continue reading →