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Come Write In at UC Berkeley’s Doe Library

National Novel Writing Month 2017

Have you ever thought about writing a novel but just didn’t think you had the time? You’re not alone. A small group of friends from the East Bay dared themselves to finish their novels in 30 days back in 1999, creating the foundation of what has become National Novel Writing Month. Since then, this small nonprofit, NaNoWriMo, has inspired a global event of epic proportions! Fifty thousand words in 30 days! Quantity over quality is the name of the game. Turn off your inner editor, and win.

Are you working on a thesis, dissertation, or any other writing project (creative or otherwise) but could use a bit of support from the collective energy of fellow students or colleagues to help you stay focused and provide some inspiration? NaNoWriMo isn’t just for novels anymore — be a​ ​NaNoWriMo​ ​“Rebel,” and work on your academic projects, an article, a chapter, final research paper, memoir, screenplay, etc., and possibly find some new writing buddies along the way!

The amazing team over at NaNoWriMo created this worldwide community of writers and a support system of libraries, bookstores, and other neighborhood spaces all over the globe called Come​ ​Write​ ​In​, where “Wrimos” gather and forge ahead toward their word count goals during their quest to win this book-in-a-month contest. With all the positive energy of over 300,000 participants, all writing together, winning is possible. Novelist or academic, all are welcome. Since 2007, the incredible spirit of NaNoWriMo continues to motivate me to keep pushing forward, and I hope it will inspire you as well!

Come​ ​Write​ ​In​, ​Doe​ ​Library:
Nov. 5​, ​1-4 p.m.,​ ​Room​ ​180​ ​Doe
Nov. 12, ​1-4 p.m.,​ ​Room​ ​180​ ​Doe
Nov. ​19, 1-3 p.m.,​ ​Room​ ​180​ ​Doe
Nov. ​30, ​6-9 p.m.​ ​(Thank​ ​Goodness​ ​We​ ​Did​ ​It​ ​Party!),​ ​Room​ ​303​ ​Doe

Sign up at NaNoWriMo.org, and join the East Bay Home Region to see the calendar of events in our area and beyond.

The Library attempts to offer programs in accessible, barrier-free settings. If you think you may require disability-related accommodations, please contact Shannon Monroe at least two weeks prior to the event at smonroe@berkeley.edu, 510-643-6151.

Summer reading: Hillbilly Elegy

Hillbilly Elegy

Hillbilly Elegy
J.D. Vance
New York: Harper, 2016

Hillbilly Elegy is a memoir of JD Vance growing up in Middletown, Ohio—a town that has been through its share of economic transformations. After World War II, Middletown was a booming factory town with a thriving downtown, attracting residents from Kentucky’s Hill Country seeking a better life from the coal mines of Appalachia. By the time Vance was born, the factory had closed along with many downtown stores, leaving its residents in a state of poverty and social isolation. Hillbilly Elegy is the story of one family’s journey through the boom and bust cycles of Middletown. Along the way, it provides some insights into the way residents of Rust Belt towns (or at least one family) think about politics, work, education, and community and why many of them bought into the promises of Donald Trump in 2016.

This book is part of the 2017 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!

Kazuo Ishiguro’s Books Disappear from Library Bookshelves

A mystery is afoot at the Library — British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro’s books are vanishing from library bookshelves in record time. Our best guess is that today more than one Berkeley literary fan decided it was time to brew some tea and settle in for a reread (and rewatch?) of Remains of the Day after this tweet announced Ishiguro as the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. (Ishiguro quipped, “I do a very good Bob Dylan impersonation!”)

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Workshop: Scrivener — Software for Writers

Scrivener: Software for Writers

Scrivener: Software for Writers Workshop
Tuesday, Oct. 17, 4:00-5:30pm
305 Wurster Hall, College of Environmental Design Library, UC Berkeley
bit.ly/scrivener2017

Want a better way to tackle your long writing project? Scrivener can help! Scrivener is a software program that breaks down your writing into manageable “chunks” and keeps all of your research, brainstorming, and writing in a single conceptual workspace. Use Scrivener for your thesis, dissertation, book project, or novel. Read more about Scrivener.

Scrivener Interface

Summer reading: Dark Matters

Dark Matters

Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness
Simone Browne
Durham: Duke University Press, 2015

Dark Matters is a fascinating book that deals with the way modern surveillance practices–ranging from CCTVs to facial recognition programming to airport security–have been formed through racial biases and the policing of Black life. Rooted in historical methods of surveillance and connecting to modern manifestations, it deals with the consequences of racially-motivated surveillance. It’s a really interesting and interdisciplinary combination of social theory, history, technology, and even pop culture.

I found out about this book as part of a connector course, Data and Ethics, taken along with Data 8, Foundations of Data Science. As data collection and surveillance practices have become intensely enmeshed into our daily lives, this is an important text to consider. Dark Matters is really compelling in how it situates technology in the scope of current, and historical, social and racial issues in modern America.

This book is part of the 2017 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!

New Books In Graduate Services October 2017

Formations of the unconscious

Formation Of The Unconscious: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan Book V edited by Jacques-Alain Miller and translated by Russell Grigg

The discourse of peer review reviewing submissions to academic journals

The Discourse Of Peer Review: Reviewing Submissions To Academic Journals by Brian Paltridge

La rentrée littéraire

September is the month when an unusually high concentration of new publications are released to the European market, notably in France and Belgium. While it may take a few more weeks for these books to reach us in Berkeley and get cataloged, some are already making their way to the shelves. Remember, all new books destined for the Main Stacks are first displayed on the third floor of the Moffitt Library and also listed on the recent acquisitions lists for French, Italian and Iberian studies in OskiCat for your convenience. Enjoy!

Summer Reading: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

The Emperor of All Maladies

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
Siddhartha Mukherjee
New York: Scribner, 2011

A very readable Pulitzer Prize winner. Despite the somewhat depressing topic, I couldn’t put it down. Maybe our future students will find a cure.

This book is part of the 2017 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!

COLLECTIONS as CONNECTORS Holdings from Off-Center

by Steven Black, Bancroft Acquisitions

Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…
–William Butler Yeats, from “The Second Coming”

As they do in a teeming metropolis, connections occur naturally among collections in libraries and other repositories. These linkages may involve ideas and people, whether by description (cataloging and metadata), archival arrangement, researcher access and review, or, in the case of a new exhibit at The Bancroft Library, by time-shifted serendipity.

“The Summer of Love, from the Collections of The Bancroft Library” fortuitously brings together two representative figures who, in 1967, circled each other warily, but never met.

Joan Didion
Joan Didion in Golden Gate Park’s Panhandle, near Oak and Ashbury, 1967, photographed by Ted Streshinsky, BANC PIC 2004.132–NEG, M674-2, frame 9A

Joan Didion’s reportage in “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” is highlighted in a timely Bancroft exhibition along with images of the hippie scene in San Francisco taken by photographer Ted Streshinsky.

One thread running through her piece (in a reproduction of her typescript essay as submitted for later book publication) is a search for the Communication Company printer and publisher Chester Anderson.

Chester Anderson
Photo of Chester Anderson from the back cover of The Butterfly Kid. New York : Pyramid Books, 1967., p PS3551.N358 B8 1967

Funded by proceeds from his cult-hit novel The Butterfly Kid (1967), Anderson arrived in the Haight district of San Francisco just as the seeds for the coming “Summer of Love” were sown.  In January 1967 he purchased a state-of-the-art mimeograph machine from Gestetner “to provide quick & inexpensive printing service for the hip community.”

Among the works issued by this newest member of the Underground Press Syndicate were innumerable Diggers flyers and handbills, a chapbook by Richard Brautigan (All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace), revolutionary manifestos, notices for performances, the Invisible Circus, other happenings, and street level public service announcements.

Gentleness: a play in infinite acts ., 1967, The Communication Company, publisher Chester Anderson papers, BANC MSS 92/839 c, box 1, folder 3

In her quest, Didion describes meeting Com/Co’s co-founder, who (she writes) “says his name is Claude Hayward, but never mind that because I think of him just as The Connection.”

As she is on assignment for a mainstream publication, Didion is considered (in a Diggers phrase-du-jour) to be “a media poisoner.” The Connection urges her to dump the photographer she is with “and get out on the Street” leaving her cash (“You won’t need money”) behind.

Responding to her request to speak directly with Chester Anderson, The Connection says:  “If we decide to get in touch with you at all, we’ll get in touch with you real quick.” Although she crosses paths with The Connection again that spring in the Panhandle during an agitprop intervention by the San Francisco Mime Troupe, his passive refusal to hook her up rebuts his street-inflected nickname.

Joan Didion was unable to find the oracular man who could ostensibly help her understand “the scene,” or genius loci. Despite this missed connection with Chester Anderson, by detailing her forays into the Haight-Ashbury and other hippie enclaves around San Francisco, Didion captured in prose a time in violent flux. “Slouching” became the title essay of her celebrated first book of non-fiction, securing her reputation as a caustic and insightful social seismograph.

janis didion excerpt
Joan Didion papers, BANC MSS 81/140 c, carton 1

Today their works are co-located in Bancroft’s Summer of Love retrospective: two radically different writers can be seen in a long-delayed meeting that eluded them in real life.

*                          *                          *

Provenance notes:

Joan Didion (1934-) Joan Didion’s manuscript (BANC MSS 81/140 c carton 1) came to The Bancroft Library as a gift of the author.

Chester Valentine John Anderson (1932-1991) Chester Anderson’s papers (BANC MSS 92/839 c) came to The Bancroft Library via friend and fellow underground journalist Paul Williams.

Paul Williams (1948-2013) founded Crawdaddy, the first zine of rock and roll journalism (predating Rolling Stone), authored many works of hippie (Apple Bay: or, Life on the planet) and new age journalism (Das Energi), books on Bob Dylan and Philip K. Dick (whose literary executor he was, for close to 20 years). Through his imprint Entwhistle Books, he published two books by Chester Anderson:  Fox & hare : the story of a Friday night (f PS3551.N358 F6 1980 Bancroft) and Puppies (p PS3572.A395 P9 1979 Bancroft) under Anderson’s pseudonym John Valentine.

Ted Streshinsky (1923–2003) Ted Streshinsky’s photo archive (BANC PIC 2004.132) was a gift of his wife Shirley.

Summer Reading: The Man Who Planted Trees: A Story of Lost Groves, the Science of Trees, and a Plan to Save the Planet

The Man Who Planted Trees

The Man Who Planted Trees: A Story of Lost Groves, the Science of Trees, and a Plan to Save the Planet
Jim Robbins
New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2012

Inspired by Giono’s tale from 1953, the book follows the endeavors of protagonist David Milarch, a Michigan nurseryman who engages in a study of the oldest trees in the U.S. and attempts to copy the genetic material of 826 species of trees. The story is easy to follow and is informed by both scientific knowledge and environmental efforts. It includes detailed descriptions of the role of trees in cleaning pollutants from the air as well as preserving our freshwater systems. The book emphasizes the interdependence of trees not only with their immediate ecosystems but with the planet as a whole.

This book is part of the 2017 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!

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