Tag Archives: Special Interest

Life, on the Line: Book Review

Cover via Amazon

Life on the Line: a chef’s story of chasing greatness, facing death,
and redefining the way we eat
By Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas

You do not have to be a fan of upscale dining to love this book by Chicago chef and founder of Alinea, Grant Achatz, about his rise to the top of his profession and his battle with cancer. Anyone who is interested in achieving excellence will find inspiration in the story of Achatz’ education as a chef and his ambition to open his own restaurant and push the boundaries of what is possible with both food preparation and the dining experience. I could not put this book down, and the Chicago connection made it even more engrossing. This was my top book of 2011!

Written by Julie Keating, Reference/Instruction Librarian

April is National Poetry Month!

National Poetry Month each April is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives. —Poets.org

Here’s a link to some of the special programming offered by Poets.org.

*Write a poem a day for a month!
*Visit the American Writers Museum in Chicago!
*Check out the Pulitzer Prize winning poetry titles from 1918-present. Check our catalog to see what we have in our collection.
*30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month.

Explore different types of poetry in the ECC Library. If you want to browse, poetry is generally found in the 811 section of the collection, although individual collections of poetry can be found in 808.81. You can also search our catalog for your favorite author.

Follow Poetry Month on Social media: @POETSorg on Twitter, #NationalPoetryMonth on Twitter, Poets.org on FaceBook, and #nationalpoetrymonth on Instagram

–Written by Maria Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian

#BookThatChangedYourWorld: Julie Keating

Image via Amazon.com

The art of happiness : a handbook for living / the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler
294.3444 B916a

I read this book when I was going through a difficult time in my life, and suffering from severe anxiety. I found this book to be very helpful. You may think that this book would be very dense and difficult to read, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is written in a very accessible style as a series of conversations. The Dalai Lama believes that you can train your mind to exist in a happier state. He believes that “you can overcome your negative mental states  through the application of the “antidote”, or the corresponding positive mental state.” It was very instructive to me at the time that it was possible to have power over my negative emotions.  He touches on dealing with issues stemming from anger, anxiety, suffering, grief, and self esteem. You do not have to be a Buddhist to appreciate this book. Issues are discussed in a very practical, common sense manner with helpful ideas for everyone to consider.

One of the passages in the book that stood out to me was about grief:

“For those people who do not believe in rebirth, then I think there are still some simple ways to help deal with the loss. First, they could reflect that if they worried too much, allowing themselves to be too overwhelmed by the sense of loss and sorrow, and if they carried on with that feeling of being overwhelmed, not only would it be very destructive and harming to themselves, ruining their health, but also it would not have any benefit to the person who has passed away.

“For example, in my own case, I have lost my most respected tutor, my mother, and also one of my brothers. When they passed away, of course, I felt very, very sad. Then I constantly kept thinking that it’s no use to worry too much, and if I really loved these people, then I must try to fulfill their wishes with a calm mind. So I try my best to do that. So I think if you’ve lost someone who is very dear to you, that’s the proper way to approach it. You see, the best way to keep a memory of that person, the best remembrance, is to see if you can carry on the wishes of that person.

“Initially, of course, feelings of grief and anxiety are a natural human response to a loss. But if you allow these feelings of loss and worry to persist, there’s a danger; if these feelings are left unchecked, they can lead to a kind of self-absorption. A situation where the focus becomes your own self. And when that happens you become overwhelmed by the sense of loss, and you get a feeling that it’s only you who is going through this. Depression sets in. But in reality, there are others who will be going through the same kind of experience. So, if you find yourself worrying too much, it may help to think of the other people who have similar or even worse tragedies. Once you realize that, then you no longer feel isolated, as if you have been singlepointedly picked out. That can offer you some kind of condolence.”

      —The Dalai Lama (1935-), in The Art of Happiness (pub. 1998) 

I know that being a student is very stressful, and anxiety plagues many of us. For those interested, I would recommend two other books here in the ECC library to help deal with the stresses of modern life:

Wherever you go, there you are : mindfulness meditation in
everyday life / Jon Kabat-Zinn 155.9042 K11w

 The relaxation response / by Herbert Benson 616.132 B474R

–Submitted by Julie Keating, Reference/Instruction Librarian

Freedom of Information Day is March 16!

Use this link to find information on your state! https://www.nfoic.org/

Celebrated on President James Madison’s birthday (one of the Fathers of the Constitution and Bill of Rights), this date is celebrated each year to celebrate and encourage openness of government with the people.

This video from the Department of Justice, explains what the Freedom of Information Act is and provides a detailed look at FOIA.

To share on social media, use #FreedomOfInformationDay.

–Written by Maria Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian

Resource Spotlight: Alexander Street Theatre in Video

Covering documentaries and performances for some of the most prominent plays in the 20th century and beyond, this resource provides unique content, including many new performances from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre collection (Opus Arte), Theatre Arts Films, the BBC, and TMW Media Group.

You can browse the collection by discipline, such as diversity, history, music, or science. In addition to videos and audio, there are over 8,800 books and documents to explore.

Unique to this database is the ability to make a clip or playlist–this can be helpful for students when wanting to highlight a piece as part of a paper or project, or for faculty to include as part of a lesson or use in D2L.

If you haven’t tried this resource, take a look at all it has to offer!

You will need to have an activated Student ID to view this content from off campus. Contact 847-214-7337 to activate your ID.

–Written by Maria Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian

100 iconic love stories from around the world

For your reading list pleasure on Valentine’s Day, we bring you 100 love stories from around the world (courtesy of Kimberly Mays). This list will show you titles from each country with a brief synopsis. Find your love today!

Resource Spotlight: Slavery and Anti-Slavery

Students and faculty can gain new insights and context into many subject areas by using the Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive database.

Need a chronology? Looking for primary documents? Want to know more about the key people involved? This searchable database provides a variety of credible and vetted primary and secondary resources, ensuring that students and faculty have the highest quality materials for their projects.

This collection includes 5.4 million cross-searchable pages, including books, manuscripts, Supreme Court records and articles, as well as links to websites and biographies. Strong partnerships with the Amistad Research Center, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the British Library, the National Archives in Kew, Oberlin College, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and many other institutions make this collection both a unique and particularly extensive resource.

If you need help navigating the collection or have any questions, please contact the Reference Desk at 847-214-7354 or libref@elgin.edu.

–Written by Maria Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian