Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013

I caught part of the 2-hour Nelson Mandela special on “Q” this morning, where the interviews were punctuated with some wonderful songs.

There are lots of books about Mandela at Robarts and other U of T libraries, including his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.
book cover: Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

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Your favourite bestsellers

I was curious to see which bestsellers have been borrowed the most from the UC Library since we launched our Bestsellers collection last Fall (Sept. 2012). (I’m only counting actual loans not renewals.)

Here are the winners!

IN FIRST PLACE — OUR MOST POPULAR BESTSELLER! — WITH 15 LOANS:

TIED FOR SECOND MOST POPULAR — WITH 14 LOANS EACH:

IN THIRD PLACE — WITH 12 LOANS:

TIED FOR FOURTH PLACE — WITH 11 LOANS EACH:

TIED FOR FIFTH PLACE — WITH 10 LOANS EACH:

TIED FOR SIXTH PLACE — WITH 9 LOANS EACH:

It isn’t a totally fair competition: it would be hard for books we just bought this Fall to “catch up” to books we’ve had since last Fall.  Also, a few of our bestsellers were so popular in the first year that I bought a second copy a few months ago, and that gives them even more chance to rack up loans.

Even so, I find this a pretty interesting list: Non-fiction appears to be even more popular than fiction! And it’s interesting that some books that were first published years ago are still going strong, including Norman Doidge’s The Brain That Changes Itself (2007) and Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers (2008).  The stats above are for the paperback copies in our Bestsellers section, but the hardcover editions of these two books have also been very popular with UC Library patrons, ever since they appeared.

Graphic novels at the UC Library

Lately I’ve been working on expanding the UC Library’s collection of graphic novels, and we now have over a hundred — with more on the way!

Our recent display at the front of the library featured graphic novels by women, and our library assistants reported that the books “went like hotcakes.” The authors included:

Several of these authors are discussed in the book Graphic women : life narrative and contemporary comics.

display-graphic-novels-by-women

Holiday reading

Looking forward to some holiday reading? Starting today, Best Sellers you borrow from the UC Library will not be due until January 8 or later!

Doris Lessing, 1919-2013

The Guardian has a whole section devoted to Doris Lessing, who died today at age 94 (including a piece by Margaret Atwood). We have a selection of Lessing’s books at the UC Library, including the one Atwood reminisces about reading in her youth, The Golden Notebook.

book cover: The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

GG Awards for 2013

Here are the English-language winners of the 2013 Governor General’s Awards — all available at the UC Library!

FICTION:
      The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
NON-FICTION:
      Journey With No Maps: A life of P.K. Page by Sandra Djwa
POETRY:
      North End Love Song by Katherena Vermette
DRAMA:
      Fault Lines: Three Plays by Nicolas Billon
TRANSLATION (FRENCH TO ENGLISH):
      The Major Verbs by Pierre Nepveu, translated by Donald Winkler

book cover: Fault Lines

Recommended reading for Remembrance Day

Canada and the Theatre of War is an impressive two-volume collection containing fourteen plays. It’s divided into three sections:

World War I:

  • The Lost Boys by by R.H. Thomson
  • Soldier’s Heart by David French
  • Mary’s Wedding by Stephen Massicotte
  • Dancock’s Dance by Guy Vanderhaeghe
  • Vimy by Vern Thiessen

World War II:

  • Ever Loving by Margaret Hollingsworth
  • None Is Too Many by Jason Sherman
  • Burning Vision by Marie Clements

Contemporary Wars:

  • Game of Patience by Abla Farhoud
  • A Line in the Sand by Guillermo Verdecchia and Marcus Youssef
  • The Monuments by Colleen Wagner
  • Palace of the End by Judith Thompson
  • Scorched by Wajdi Mouawad
  • Man out of Joint by Sharon Pollock

book cover: Canada and the Theatre of War, Volume I