Book Club, RA Programs

After Dinner Mints: The Dish on Just Desserts – January 2017

after-dinner-mints

Just Desserts Discussion Group talks about
Give & Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success
by Adam Grant

Our author Adam Grant is the youngest tenured professor at the Wharton School of Business. He is also one of Business Week’s favorite professors and one of Fortune’s 40 under 40. Adam Grant is the best-selling author of Give and Take and his newest book; Originals- How Non-Conformists Move the World. He has a PhD in organizational psychology.

Our book this month deals with success in business and in life.  Most of us think success is about hard work, perseverance and luck. That equation overlooks the impact of our interactions with others. People are either: givers, takers or matchers. Matchers achieve the most success in life, followed by givers with takers in last place.

Adam Grant’s “code of honor”- the traits that inspire trust and not competition in the work place are: show up, work hard, be kind, and always take the high road.

This book shares personal stories, but also many success stories. As a group, we learned about the creation of Craigslist and Freecycle. The author strongly believes in paying favors forward.

80% of all Americans now work in service industries.  We need to be able to work independently and interdependently!

If you are interested in this topic, check out the book and the author’s website www.giveandtake.com.  On the website, there is a free quiz available to find out your Giver Quotient. There are also videos to watch of Adam Grant giving several speeches on the topic. He is a wonderful public speaker!

We had a great discussion and we expect to see more great things from Adam Grant in the future!

give-and-take

From the Couch

From the Couch – Mercy Street Season 1

 

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A breakout historical drama last winter, Mercy Street returns to PBS on January 22nd for a second season.  We have the first season in our TV series collection!

Taking place at the Mansion House Hospital in the Union occupied city of Alexandria, Virginia during the early days of the Civil War, Mercy Street follows the experiences of those on both sides of the conflict, including nurse Mary Phinney, surgeon Jedidiah Foster, and the wealthy Green family.  Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Josh Radnor, Gary Cole, McKinley Belcher III, and a varied cast of excellent actors, this is definitely a suggested series for those interested in the American Civil War or medical dramas.

Some suggested watch-a-likes if you’ve already viewed this series include:
Cold Mountain
The Conspirator
Free State of Jones
Gettysburg
Glory
Gods and Generals
Lincoln
Roots
Underground (Television Series)

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Book Club, RA Programs

The After Party -Books and Bagels and Morning Book Break – Jan. 2017

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Books and Bagels and Morning Book Break Discussions on Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Rating: In Books and Bagels, the book received ratings between 2.5 and 3.5. The average of the ratings was 3.2.  Three members declined to rate the book, citing that it would be unfair to rate as they disliked the book so much they could not finish it.

In Morning Book Break, the book received ratings between -1.0 and 5.0.  The average of the ratings was 1.97. About six members gave the book a zero and stated that they disliked the book and were unable to finish reading the book.

Review: Almost all members would not have chosen this book to read on their own. The Books and Bagels members, on the whole, were grateful to learn about new technologies and new communication tools that have emerged in our modern era.

How people meet their mates across different periods is a significant theme of Modern Romance therefore; last month, the members were asked to come prepared to share one of the following stories:

  • How did you and your significant other meet?
  • How did your parents or grandparents meet?
  • Share an interesting story about how a couple you know met.
  • Of course, members were also given the option to opt out.

The members were told that these shared stories would allow us to compare and contrast how people found their mates in the past and the present. Several members in Morning Book Break suggested bringing in wedding photos or photos of themselves as young singles and all members took this suggestion to heart and arrived with a photo to share. These stories and photos were well-received and this segment of the discussion was very popular.

At the end of our discussion time, members were asked to critique the book and answer the follow question:

  • Did Modern Romance help dispel the social stigma of online dating? If you were in your 20’s or 30’s would you use it as a tool?

The discussions in both groups were lively, fruitful, and interesting. Normally, the discussions end around 11 am, in both groups, the discussion lasted until almost noon.

Discussion Highlights—Books and Bagels

  • Several members did not care for the book, so they skimmed the contents or did not finish the book.
  • Most members found the comedian’s use of foul language to be off-putting, irritating, and a distraction to the contents of the book.
  • Some members questioned the methodology of the research studies conducted and they discovered that the statistics within the book did not add up.
  • Much discussion centered on how cell phone usage, specifically texting, has not only changed the dating scene, but ordinary, everyday conversations in general.
  • There was a great deal of discussion about the use of the internet and how googling has allowed us to search for the best which opens up endless options and yet, our lives are more complex and not necessarily happier.

Discussion Highlights—Morning Book Break

  • Most members did not care for Ansari’s humor. They found the humor to be boorish, insulting, and disrespectful. Some members found him to be humorous and a few enjoy his stand-up comedy routines.
  • Many members expressed concern for younger generation and their future; this brave new world seems to have lost the art of lively conversation. Many members were glad that they had been born in an earlier generation.  One member stated that colleges are now offering courses in conversation skills, indeed, a lost art.
  • Several members were not able to finish reading the book and those that did found it to be redundant and repetitive.
  • A few members shared that the information about romance in Japan, Buenos Aires, and France was interesting and informative.
  • A few members discussed the book with younger people over the holidays and found the information to spark lively and interesting conversations. A few people thought having knowledge about current romantic practices was paramount in interacting with the younger generation and on that note, thought the book offered insight.

Resources:

http://azizansari.com/

Read-a-Likes:

Modern Romance.jpg

Displays

January Displays

Every month, Reader’s Advisory puts out different displays in the area surrounding our desk.  For us, it’s a fun way to tie in the materials we love to the specific month or season!  Anything that is on the cubes can be checked out, just like anything else in the library!

For the month of January, there are several different exciting displays to choose from.

“Library Reads,” located on the left book cube, is a “Best of” display for 2016.  These books were picked by librarians as the best loved reads of the year.  If you can’t grab a list from the display, you can visit http://libraryreads.org/favorite-favorites-2016-libraryreads/.

“A Blizzard of Books,” located on the center book cube, is a display of fiction with winter themes.  No matter the genre, if you’re looking for books that match the season, look no further.

“The Best Music of 2016,” located on the CD display cube, is music from this year that has been consistently popular, or that merits a listen.  Come check out some tunes you may have missed!

“Best Books of 2016,” located on our corner display, are selections from the GoodReads Choice Awards for 2016, including winners and nominees.  Every year this list is voted on by readers, for readers.  If you want more information, take home a bookmark or visit https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-books-2016.  Check out the accompanying Billboard slideshow!

The fiction and nonfiction film walls are about a fresh start in the new year.  Fiction focuses on uplifting films that will warm your heart and give you some laughs, and nonfiction focuses on improving your mind, body, and outlook.

Our Teen display this month is “Chill Out with a Good Book,” suggested reads for the winter season.

Check out the slideshow below for photos of each of these displays.
We encourage you to come in and check out these displays for yourself; you can always take something home!

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