Cites & Bytes @ Bailey

a library newsletter, a compendium of interesting tidbits, a communication tool....from Bailey Library @ Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. (Site Feed)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Recently Read by Steve*....

What is the What by Dave Eggers

I’ll be honest: I’ve never had any idea of what’s going on in Sudan. I understand that the country has been in a state of civil war for some time and the name Darfur rings a bell, but I never had any idea of the significance. When I read that Eggers was writing a book about a Sudanese refugee a while back, I was nonplussed. Is the situation so urgent than a contemporary writer needed to spend four years working on an autobiographical novel about one of these mysterious people? In a word, yes. What is the What is the harrowing story of Valentino Achak Deng, an account of his journey from his home village of Marial Bai to Ethiopia, to Kenya, and to America. The book is drenched in despair, but isn’t without its lighthearted moments. At 475 pages, the book is epic and sprawling, but never a bore. After reading it, I feel that I’ve gained some knowledge of what’s happening in Sudan, but there are so many groups and tribes to keep track of that the whole situation is still pretty perplexing.

King Dork by Frank Portman

This is the first novel to come from Frank Portman (better known to some as Dr. Frank of the Berkeley pop punk band the Mr. T Experience). Portman’s ability to craft wonderful three minute songs seems to have transferred well to the novel format. The book is clever and endearing; a very truthful account of an introvert’s sophomore year in high school. Though the book is categorized as a Young Adult/Teen, it seems the people who might enjoy it the most are in their early- to mid-twenties, as they will be more likely to catch Portman’s esoteric references to 70s rock music and 60s literature. The book has been a success both critically and commercially, and it might be wise for our library to think about buying a copy of it (hint, hint).

*Steve is one of our intelligent, thoughtful, and well read student library assistants.


Blogger Alyssa said...

This is a great idea! Steve should have his own column on the Blog every week :)

8:29 AM  
Blogger Melba Tomeo said...

I think that's a wonderful idea! And I invite any other interested students to submit book/media/website reviews. We would love to have your voice represented.

8:49 AM  

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