Saturday, December 22, 2012

Library Hours Reduced - Effective Spring 2013

We regret to inform you that we need to reduce hours next semester. We will no longer offer hours in the early morning, later evening, or Saturday.

Spring 2013 Hours
Monday –Thursday: 9 am—6 pm
Friday: 9 am—1pm
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

If you would like to voice your concerns, we invite you to:
  • Fill out a petition at a service desk inside the library, or:
  • Contact your ASO representative

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Library Closes at 5:30 Today

The Library closes at 5:30 on Thursday, December 20. SWC Libraries are closed over winter break and will reopen Monday, January 14, 2013.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

SWC Libraries Closed for Winter Break

SWC Libraries are closed Friday, December 21, 2012 - January 13, 2013.
Regular hours resume Monday, January 14, 2013.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Orientations for Online Students

Enrolled in an online course?
New to Blackboard?
Join us for an hour!

Spring 2013 - For sessions starting in January, 2013

Main Campus - Room L-244
Wednesday, January 9: 1 p.m.
Saturday, January 12: 10 a.m.
Monday, January 14: 11 a.m.
Monday, January 14: 5:30 p.m.

National City Campus - Room 7208B
Thursday, January 10: 5 p.m.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Check It Out

by Susan Wilson Solovic
American Management Association, 2012
New Book Shelf: HD62.5 .S6729 2012

Presents tips and advice for creating a new business, utilizing the author's experience in creating her own successful business to guide readers in planning, funding, promotion, pricing, and self-evaluation. (summary from publisher)

Check out this new book for four weeks with your SWC photo ID card.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

This Week in CQ Researcher

Future of Homeownership: Should government do more to help homeowners?
by Barbara Mantel

"The housing market is finally showing signs of recovery after the housing crash and Great Recession of the late 2000s. The number of foreclosed homes is shrinking, sales of homes are climbing, prices are rebounding and builders are ramping up construction. Yet the share of Americans who own their homes dropped to 65.5 percent in the third quarter — the lowest since 1997. Many of today's buyers are investors who are snapping up houses in some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods and converting them into rentals, which experts say is a new trend. Analysts wonder whether many Americans are permanently rejecting homeownership in favor of renting. Meanwhile, policymakers are weighing how much the government should help the millions of remaining distressed homeowners and how to reform mortgage financing to avoid another housing debacle."

Read more about this topic and many others in CQ Researcher, accessible from off-campus with the current passwords.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Library Hours Reduced - Effective Spring, 2013

We regret to inform you that we’ve been directed to cut library hours next semester. We will no longer offer hours in the early morning, later evening, or Saturday.


Spring 2013 Hours
Monday –Thursday: 9 am—6 pm
Friday: 9 am—1pm
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

If you would like to voice your concerns, we invite you to:

Website of the Week


Be prepared to spend a fair amount of time exploring the documents, photographs, drawings, maps, and other materials that make this an online experience that is unlike any other. Each record in the Digital Vaults is also linked to the National Archives' Archival Research Catalog (ARC), so visitors who want to know more can take the first steps toward a research journey into the National Archives. The site has a special interactive resources section for educators and students. Teachers can get great ideas on lesson plans using reproducible primary sources. Students can create digital content with primary resources. Students can search photographs, documents, and other records and collect them. Students can use collected items to create their own digital poster or to make a movie. http://www.digitalvaults.org/#/create/

Review by Tony McGee, SWC Librarian

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Library Open Today

No classes on Thursday, December 13, 2012
SWC Libraries are open regular hours

Main Library: 8 AM - 7 PM
National City Library: 9 AM - 12 PM
Otay Mesa Library:  12 PM - 5 PM
San Ysidro Library: 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Monday, December 10, 2012

Website of the Week


Wolfram Alpha is not a search engine, it’s a knowledge base -- but one that’s very smart. The site describes itself as: “a fundamentally new way to get knowledge and answers— not by searching the web, but by doing dynamic computations based on a vast collection of built-in data, algorithms, and methods.”

 The best way to begin is to go to the home page and click on “random” searches. You’ll get the hang of what it can do with its prescribed search parameters.

Another way to explore the site is to go to the Examples page and play around with a particular category. For example, under Social Statistics, Crime, one example search is: “crime Texas.” The results page has simple, easy to read information about total crimes, a chart showing change in crime over time, the crime rate, property crimes, and violent crimes (with the option of more charts). There is a Source link at the bottom of the page to trace the data, and in this example if you click on the External Data sources, you will get a drop down bibliography of sources, which includes the US Dept of Justice BJS and National Center for Education Statistics, among others.

There are 30 categories in the free version of the site, and each category has multiple sub and sub-sub categories. It is amazing what you can discover here.

A few highlights:
 “President of Argentina” = political leader name, photo, basic dates
“star chart San Diego” = generate a star chart for a location
“1000 to Babylonian” = 1000 in Babylonian numerals
“Russian language” = get information, basic words, and stats about a particular language

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

SWC Library - Four Locations

 Stop by one of the SWC Library's four locations. Call, email, or chat. We are here to help!

Monday - Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Closed: Sunday

Monday: 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 

 Otay Mesa Library
Monday: 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday & Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Thursday: 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 
 National City Library
Monday: 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Thursday: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
 

Monday, December 03, 2012

Website of the Week

Healthfinder - http://healthfinder.gov 

This site is sponsored by the National Health Information Center. One can find resources on a wide range of health topics selected from over 1,600 government and non-profit organizations to bring you the best, most reliable health information on the Internet. Information is also available in Spanish.

I particularly like that one can browse topics by A-Z, “Health A-Z”. Another easy tool to use is “myhealthfinder”. This assists in finding specific health advice depending on age and sex. Although most people have probably heard these recommendations from their primary care doctors, it’s a quick reminder of what one can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s not too technical and in my opinion a great resource for the layperson

Review by Patty Torres, SWC Librarian

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Library Hours Reduced - Effective Spring 2013

We regret to inform you that we’ve been directed to cut library hours next semester. We will no longer offer hours in the early morning, later evening, or Saturday.

Spring 2013 Hours
Monday –Thursday: 9 am—6 pm
Friday: 9 am—1pm
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

If you would like to voice your concerns, we invite you to:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Check it Out

Mexico's indigenous communities : their lands and histories, 1500-2010
by Ethelia Ruiz Medrano
University Press of Colorado, c2010
F1219.3.L34 R85 2010

"A rich and detailed account of indigenous history in central and southern Mexico from the sixteenth to the twenty-first centuries, Mexico's Indigenous Communities is an expansive work that destroys the notion that Indians were victims of forces beyond their control and today have little connection with their ancient past. Indian communities continue to remember and tell their own local histories, recovering and rewriting versions of their past in light of their lived present. Ethelia Ruiz Medrano focuses on a series of individual cases, falling within successive historical epochs, that illustrates how the practice of drawing up and preserving historical documents - in particular, maps, oral accounts, and painted manuscripts - has been a determining factor in the history of Mexico's Indian communities for a variety of purposes, including the significant issue of land and its rightful ownership. Since the sixteenth century, numerous Indian pueblos have presented colonial and national courts with historical evidence that defends their landholdings. Because of its sweeping scope, groundbreaking research, and the author's intimate knowledge of specific communities, Mexico's Indigenous Communities is a unique and exceptional contribution to Mexican history. It will appeal to students and specialists of history, indigenous studies, ethnohistory, and anthropology of Latin America and Mexico." Review from publisher

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

This Week in CQ Researcher

By Bill Wanlund

Happy Citizenship Day! A youngster rests after joining other local children who attended a naturalization ceremony in Los Angeles on Sept. 19, 2012. Some 40 million Americans — about one in eight — are foreign-born. (Getty Images/Kevork Djansezian)

"The nation is undergoing one of the most important demographic transitions in its history. For the first time, minority babies outnumbered white newborns last year, and Census estimates predict that by 2042 non-Hispanic whites will no longer be in the majority. Already, more than a third of Americans are minorities, and non-whites accounted for 92 percent of population growth between 2000 and 2010, a trend driven by rising Hispanic immigration. Meanwhile, as millions of baby boomers retire, the nation is growing older. More than a fifth of Americans will be 65 or older by 2030, compared with one in eight today. Seismic changes also are occurring on the religious front: Protestants are no longer in the majority, and millions have abandoned religion altogether. And, in a striking trend of reverse migration, millions of blacks are moving back to the South."

Read the full report in CQ Researcher, accessible via the SWC Library's Articles and Databases page. From off-campus, connect via the current semester's passwords.

Have a question? Ask a librarian!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Website of the Week



Personal Archiving: Preserving Your Digital Memories http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/personalarchiving/index.html

As technology advances, an ever increasing number of items important to us are in digital form. Many of us will want to copy analog items such as photographs, phonographic records, and important papers into digital form to preserve them for the future. Many of our digital objects require special handling and management to keep them from becoming obsolete. For example I have software I wrote over the last nearly 30 years that were stored on paper, paper tape, magnetic tape, 8" floppies, 5-1/4" floppies, 3.5" floppies, CD-Rs, DVDs, and the "cloud". Many of those items I can no longer access because the media they are on has become obsolete. 50 years from now all of the digital media we are using today will probably be obsolete. How do we avoid losing that which is important to us? This website presented by the Library of Congress has some practical ideas on how to become personal archivists and preserve our history.

Review by John Stanton, SWC Librarian

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Online Library is Open

Stop by the Online Library
Books, articles, and other resources at your fingertips!

Have a question? Ask a librarian!
24/7
Real People
Real Help


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Libraries Closing Early on Wednesday

The SWC Library closes at 4:30 PM on Wednesday, November 21.

SWC Libraries at the Higher Education Centers also have reduced hours on Wednesday:

Otay Mesa: 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
National City: Closed
San Ysidro: Closed

All SWC Libraries will be closed for the Thanksgiving weekend and will resume regular hours on Monday, November 26.

Have a question? Ask a librarian!


Monday, November 19, 2012

And the winner is...

The results of the voting for College Book are in.

The winner is Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls, receiving 23 votes.




The other finalists were:

  • Middlesex - 19 votes 
  • Art of Racing in the Rain - 16 votes 
  • Shanghai Girls - 15 votes 
As the result of a random drawing among all who voted, disregarding which book was voted for, the following will each receive a copy of Half Broke Horses: Gloria Pangelinan, Carol Wiley, Lillian Leopold, and Diana Haskins. Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to all who took the time to vote!

Diane Gustafson and Freddie Ball
Co-Chairs of the College Book Committee

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Check It Out

Mother Teresa : an authorized biography, by Kathryn Spink. HarperOne, 2011. New Book Shelf BX4406.5 Z8 S64 2011. Available for four-week checkout with your SWC photo ID card.

"Newly revised and updated, here is the complete story of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, founder of the Missionaries of Charity and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, a woman regarded by millions as a contemporary saint for her dedication to serving the poorest of the poor.

From her childhood in the Balkans as a member of a remarkably openhearted and religious family to her work in India, from attending the victims of war-torn Beirut to pleading with George Bush and Saddam Hussein to choose peace over war, Mother Teresa was driven by an absolute faith. During her lifetime, Mother Teresa resisted having her full biography written. Then in 1991, realizing that accounts of her life and work could inspire others, she gave Kathryn Spink, who had long been intimately involved with the work of Mother Teresa and her order, permission to proceed with a complete biography on the understanding that it would not be finished until after her death (September 5, 1997).

This revised and updated edition includes: - The beatification and continuing process of canonization for Mother Teresa - What happened to the Missionaries of Charity after her death - An intimate look into Mother Teresa's "dark night of the soul" which has garnered much media attention in recent years, including a published book of her journals (Come Be My Light) Mother Teresa consistently claimed that she was simply responding to Christ's boundless love for her and for all of humanity, bringing to the world a great and living lesson in joyful and selfless love. This book is a special look into her extraordinary faith, work, and life" from publisher

Friday, November 16, 2012

Website of the Week


My choice of an interesting and very helpful website is The Why Files: The Science Behind The News.

The purpose of this website "is to explore the science, math and technology behind the news of the day and present those topics in a clear, accessible and accurate manner." There is a new story each week...for the week of October 29 there was a feature on Hurricane Sandy covering such topics as "How do hurricanes form", "How do we predict their paths", and "How can we improve predictions?" Another piece that week alluded to recent museum robberies with questions such as "How do modern art-sleuths fight art fraud and theft with high technology?"

TWF should be a major help to classroom teachers with such regular links as "Science Animations"," Cool Science Images", and "Teacher Activity Pages".

In existence and appearing weekly since 1996, with original funding from the National Science Foundation, the site is currently supported through the Graduate School of the University of Wisconsin-Madison which encourages the use of its content for non-profit and educational activities.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Library Closed Thanksgiving Weekend

The Main Library closes at 4:30 PM on Wednesday, November 21. SWC Libraries will reopen on Monday, November 26. Have a question? Ask a Librarian!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Only One Day Left - Win a Free Book!

Vote for College Book 2013

Submit your vote by midnight, Thursday, November 15, 2012.

Faculty, staff, and students can vote for the College Book to be used on campus in spring semester. Four entries will be selected at random to receive a free copy of the winning book.

Send an email with your selection to Diane Gustafson (dgustafson@swccd.edu). Students: Please send your complete name and SWC ID #, along with the title of the book you select.

Vote for one of the following four finalists: 

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
If you've ever wondered what your dog is thinking, Stein's third novel offers an answer. Enzo is a lab terrier mix plucked from a farm outside Seattle to ride shotgun with race car driver Denny Swift as he pursues success on the track and off. Denny meets and marries Eve, has a daughter, Zoë, and risks his savings and his life to make it on the professional racing circuit. Enzo, frustrated by his inability to speak and his lack of opposable thumbs, watches Denny's old racing videos, coins koanlike aphorisms that apply to both driving and life, and hopes for the day when his life as a dog will be over and he can be reborn a man. When Denny hits an extended rough patch, Enzo remains his most steadfast if silent supporter. Enzo is a reliable companion and a likable enough narrator, though the string of Denny's bad luck stories strains believability. Much like Denny, however, Stein is able to salvage some dignity from the over-the-top drama.  Review from Amazon

Half Broke Horses: A True Life Novel by Jeannette Walls
For the first 10 years of her life, Lily Casey Smith, the narrator of this true-life novel by her granddaughter, Walls, lived in a dirt dugout in west Texas. Walls, whose mega-selling memoir, The Glass Castle, recalled her own upbringing, writes in what she recalls as Lily's plainspoken voice, whose recital provides plenty of drama and suspense as she ricochets from one challenge to another. Having been educated in fits and starts because of her parents' penury, Lily becomes a teacher at age 15 in a remote frontier town she reaches after a solo 28-day ride. Marriage to a bigamist almost saps her spirit, but later she weds a rancher with whom she shares two children and a strain of plucky resilience. (They sell bootleg liquor during Prohibition, hiding the bottles under a baby's crib.) Lily is a spirited heroine, fiercely outspoken against hypocrisy and prejudice, a rodeo rider and fearless breaker of horses, and a ruthless poker player. Assailed by flash floods, tornados and droughts, Lily never gets far from hardscrabble drudgery in several states—New Mexico, Arizona, Illinois—but hers is one of those heartwarming stories about indomitable women that will always find an audience. Review from Amazon
 
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of l974. . . My birth certificate lists my name as Calliope Helen Stephanides. My most recent driver’s license...records my first name simply as Cal." So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of l967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic. Middlesex is the winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Review from Amazon

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
In 1937 Shanghai—the Paris of Asia—twenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Both are beautiful, modern, and carefree—until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away their wealth. To repay his debts, he must sell the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from Los Angeles to find Chinese brides. As Japanese bombs fall on their beloved city, Pearl and May set out on the journey of a lifetime, from the Chinese countryside to the shores of America. Though inseparable best friends, the sisters also harbor petty jealousies and rivalries. Along the way they make terrible sacrifices, face impossible choices, and confront a devastating, life-changing secret, but through it all the two heroines of this astounding new novel hold fast to who they are—Shanghai girls. Review from Amazon
Questions? Call Diane Gustafson 482-6433 or email her at dgustafson@swccd.edu

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Need Help?



Real People
Real Help
24/7



Monday, November 12, 2012

CQ Researcher: Wildfires

This week in CQ Researcher: Managing Wildfires
by Jennifer Weeks

"Record-setting heat and intense drought have made 2012 one of the worst wildfire seasons in a decade of intense fires. Climate change, residential development in fire-prone rural areas and the impact of past firefighting policies have combined to put many areas of the United States at risk, especially in the West. Federal agencies spend more than $2.5 billion yearly to control wildfires, and the cost is rising. Scientists widely agree that fire plays an important ecological role, and federal land managers are working to reintroduce fire in controlled settings to regenerate forests and reduce combustible brush that can cause wildfires to burn out of control. Public officials are under heavy pressure to fight fires that threaten homes, but few are willing to make homeowners bear more of the costs to protect their property. Using fire-resistant building materials and clearing brush around homes can reduce fire risks. Some advocates want to go further and bar new development in fire-prone areas."

Read the rest of the report in CQ Researcher, one of the SWC Library's Databases. Access is available from off-campus with the current semester's passwords.

Have a question? Ask a librarian!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Website of the Week



College Open Textbooks has peer-reviewed more than 100 open textbooks for use in community college courses and identified more than 550. College Open Textbooks has already peer-reviewed several new open textbooks for use in community college courses and identified more than 250 others for consideration. Open textbooks are freely available for use without restriction and can be downloaded or printed from web sites and repositories.
The formation of the College Open Textbooks coincides with the growing international interest in open educational resources and the need to move to open digital textbooks as a way to help financially distressed states such as California reduce the cost of public education.
You can browse open textbooks by subject.
The Community College Open Textbooks Collaborative is funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and supported by many other members, including the California Community College’s Chancellor’s Office. The focus of these efforts could save students millions of dollars by increasing the number of open high-quality textbooks available online as alternatives to expensive printed textbooks sold by publishers.”
from College Open Textbooks website

Thursday, November 08, 2012

November 9 - Power Outage

During a campus-wide power outage scheduled for overnight Friday, Nov. 9, all campus-hosted web services will be offline. The outage is scheduled to allow San Diego Gas & Electric to complete work along Otay Lakes Road and H Street. (Weather and circumstances permitting.

All campus network servers and network equipment will be powered down at 9 p.m. and brought back up starting 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10.

That will affect the swccd.edu website, all faculty and program tilde sites hosted on campus servers, the Library, WebAdvisor, Outlook and SharePoint

Blackboard will remain accessible because it is hosted off-campus (Blackboard login here). Facebook and Twitter feeds will not be affected

Updates will be posted to the SWC Institutional Technology Twitter feed at http://www.twitter.com/swc_it.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Library Closed Monday

All SWC Libraries are closed Monday, November 12, in observance of Veterans Day.

"Veterans Day originated as 'Armistice Day' on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars. The day honors military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation. A national ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia." Source: census.gov


Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Don't Forget to Vote!

Need to find your polling place? You can find it on the San Diego County Registrar of Voters website.

Their site also has other useful information about your ballot and frequently asked questions.

Official Voter Information Guide (State of California)



Monday, November 05, 2012

Check It Out

The instant economist : everything you need to know about how the economy works
by Timothy Taylor. Plume, 2012. New Book Shelf HB171 T36 2012

Available for four-week checkout with your SWC photo ID card.

 

"Regardless of their level of education, most people wish they understood economics better. An award-winning professor translates the subject's complicated principles into easy-to-understand language, tackling all the key questions and hot topics of microeconomics and macroeconomics." from publisher

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Have a Question? Ask a Librarian!

Real people, real help, 24/7


Friday, November 02, 2012

Follow us @swclibrary

Get the latest news and updates @swclibrary!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Website of the Week

The Secret Annex Online: Discover Anne Frank's hiding space -
 http://www.annefrank.org/en/Subsites/Home/

This is of course an intriguing and well documented piece of history. Somehow I have yet to read Anne Frank's diary, but I stumbled upon this site and now I'm sure I'll get to the diary soon.

This website is a very nice virtual tool. Here are some of the features and highlights.
  • Navigate through a virtual 3D model of the actual hiding space and listen to details about the rooms and items found in the rooms. Look for icons for additional details and easy navigation around the secret annex. 
  • View a 3D layout of the house and the dimensions of the rooms. Navigate directly to rooms of interest. It's almost unbelievable that these people spent 2 years in this space! 
  • View pictures and short bios of the occupants and helpers. 
  • Watch a series of short videos about the eventual arrests, the fate of the people involved, Otto Frank's return after the war, etc. Very interesting! 
Review by Nate Martin, SWC Librarian

Monday, October 22, 2012

Last Chance to Win a Free Book!

Vote for College Book 2013

Last day to vote is Thursday, November 15, 2012.

Faculty, staff, and students can vote for the College Book to be used on campus in spring semester. Four entries will be selected at random to receive a free copy of the winning book.

Send an email with your selection to Diane Gustafson (dgustafson@swccd.edu). Students: Please send your complete name and SWC ID #, along with the title of the book you select.

Vote for one of the following four finalists: 

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
If you've ever wondered what your dog is thinking, Stein's third novel offers an answer. Enzo is a lab terrier mix plucked from a farm outside Seattle to ride shotgun with race car driver Denny Swift as he pursues success on the track and off. Denny meets and marries Eve, has a daughter, Zoë, and risks his savings and his life to make it on the professional racing circuit. Enzo, frustrated by his inability to speak and his lack of opposable thumbs, watches Denny's old racing videos, coins koanlike aphorisms that apply to both driving and life, and hopes for the day when his life as a dog will be over and he can be reborn a man. When Denny hits an extended rough patch, Enzo remains his most steadfast if silent supporter. Enzo is a reliable companion and a likable enough narrator, though the string of Denny's bad luck stories strains believability. Much like Denny, however, Stein is able to salvage some dignity from the over-the-top drama.  Review from Amazon

Half Broke Horses: A True Life Novel by Jeannette Walls
For the first 10 years of her life, Lily Casey Smith, the narrator of this true-life novel by her granddaughter, Walls, lived in a dirt dugout in west Texas. Walls, whose mega-selling memoir, The Glass Castle, recalled her own upbringing, writes in what she recalls as Lily's plainspoken voice, whose recital provides plenty of drama and suspense as she ricochets from one challenge to another. Having been educated in fits and starts because of her parents' penury, Lily becomes a teacher at age 15 in a remote frontier town she reaches after a solo 28-day ride. Marriage to a bigamist almost saps her spirit, but later she weds a rancher with whom she shares two children and a strain of plucky resilience. (They sell bootleg liquor during Prohibition, hiding the bottles under a baby's crib.) Lily is a spirited heroine, fiercely outspoken against hypocrisy and prejudice, a rodeo rider and fearless breaker of horses, and a ruthless poker player. Assailed by flash floods, tornados and droughts, Lily never gets far from hardscrabble drudgery in several states—New Mexico, Arizona, Illinois—but hers is one of those heartwarming stories about indomitable women that will always find an audience. Review from Amazon
 
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of l974. . . My birth certificate lists my name as Calliope Helen Stephanides. My most recent driver’s license...records my first name simply as Cal." So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of l967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic. Middlesex is the winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Review from Amazon

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
In 1937 Shanghai—the Paris of Asia—twenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Both are beautiful, modern, and carefree—until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away their wealth. To repay his debts, he must sell the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from Los Angeles to find Chinese brides. As Japanese bombs fall on their beloved city, Pearl and May set out on the journey of a lifetime, from the Chinese countryside to the shores of America. Though inseparable best friends, the sisters also harbor petty jealousies and rivalries. Along the way they make terrible sacrifices, face impossible choices, and confront a devastating, life-changing secret, but through it all the two heroines of this astounding new novel hold fast to who they are—Shanghai girls. Review from Amazon
Questions? Call Diane Gustafson 482-6433 or email her at dgustafson@swccd.edu