All posts by Michael Brooks

The Things They Cannot Say: stories soldiers won't tell you about what they've seen, done or failed to do in war – It's What We're Reading

 
June  
2013 A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.

The Things They Cannot Say: stories soldiers won’t tell you about what they’ve seen, done or failed to do in war The Things They Cannot Say: stories soldiers won’t tell you about what they’ve seen, done or failed to do in war
by Kevin Sites

During war, soldiers have to fight, witness death and destruction, and survive in a combat zone. The average person will never know or fully understand the toll these experiences have on the men and women who have.

War correspondent, Kevin sites, discusses what it is like for the soldiers who have experienced combat. In his book, The Things They Cannot Say: stories soldiers won’t tell you about what they’ve seen, done or failed to do in war, through a series of interviews, Sites explores the psychological impact war has on the combat soldier, as well as its social and moral impact on both the men who fight and the society and families they leave behind and eventually rejoin. Things are never the same for any of them.

Placed in life-or-death situations where split-second decisions, or the failure to act or react, could mean the difference between living or dying, and sometimes result in catastrophic mistakes, ordinary men and women find themselves in situations no one should find themselves in. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is just the beginning of the aftermath of their experiences.

The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood – It’s What We’re Reading

 
May  
2013 A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.

The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood
by James Gleick

In his latest work, The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood, James Gleick discusses the recognition and role of information, as well as its communication and storage, culminating with its seemingly endless and inescapable modern appearance. Gleick guides us through the long-developing chain of understanding and technological progress from the earliest writing, to the supercomputer, to the current devices we carry in our pockets. Gleick continues until arriving at our stage on the continuum of developments in the communication and accessibility of information, and what’s more, of the very idea and understanding of what “information” entails.

The Information tells of the human endeavor to transmit, compile, and store data on all matters deemed necessary and those which only later find importance and usefulness. Communication systems, beginning with written language, foster the means through which we transmit information across distances and ever-widening audiences. Each communication type in turn spawns peripheral developments to standardize, regulate, “fool-proof” (and sometimes encode), and increase efficiency.

The Information is highly recommended for anyone interested in seeing how dictionaries, logarithms, telegraphs, supercomputers, and smart phones share a common bond, compounding centuries of work and desires for progress in the field of information transmission, storage, accessibility, and the unending desire to do all things faster.

This book can be found in the First Floor Book Shelves in the South Wing on the first floor of the Library.

Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion – It’s What We’re Reading

 
April  
2013

A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.

A Buddha in the Attic Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion
by Janet Reitman

Whether you view Scientology as a con, a cult, or a religion, its history is endlessly fascinating, as evidenced by the number of recent newspaper and magazine articles, books, and websites on the subject. Rumors of brainwashing, spying, kidnapping, stalking, and even torture have followed Scientology for years, but only in the last decade have details on the church’s core beliefs and recruitment tactics come to light in the mainstream media. Rollingstone contributing editor Janet Reitman has written Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion, one of the latest in a series of recent books on L. Ron Hubbard’s mysterious movement.

Equally entertaining and frightening, Inside Scientology grew out of Reitman’s five years researching the subject, leading to a lengthy 2006 Rollingstone article and eventually this book. Reitman’s talent for interviewing current and former members and skill in accessing classified church documents gives an authenticity to information that would otherwise be considered so outlandish that it borders on comical. Although not quite as detailed as Lawrence Wright’s more recent Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, Inside Scientology is an extensive accounting of the controversial religion’s first 60 years. It’s hard to put down.

Electrical Shutdown of Drexel Library

Due to electrical repairs that must be made, the Francis A. Drexel Library will close at 10:00pm this evening (Monday, October 8).

The Post Learning Commons will remain open until 12 midnight this evening.

The Library Catalog will be inaccessible and other online resources may experience some interruptions. 

The Library and Post Learning Commons are scheduled to re-open Tuesday morning at 8:30am.