By Danika Stegeman
In this episode of “Read This Book!,” Danika Stegeman highlights four books included in the “From Our Collections” exhibit in Wilson Library at the University of Minnesota.
- “The Round House” by Louise Erdrich
- “Turn Here Sweet Corn,” by Atina Diffley
- “One! Hundred! Demons!” by Lynda Barry, and
- “A Frolic of His Own” by William Gaddis
The exhibit features library-owned books recommended by faculty, students, staff, and others. This month’s theme is award-winning books.
‘The Round House’
Our first recommendation is “The Round House” by Louise Erdrich, which won the 2012 National Book Award for Fiction. You can find it in Wilson Library’s McCollister Collection for Contemporary Literature.
“The Round House” takes place on a fictional reservation community in North Dakota. The narrator, Joe, takes matters into his own hands when his mother’s rapist goes unpunished. The novel is both a coming of age story and an important look at how United States law has failed many Native American communities.
‘Turn Here Sweet Corn’
If you’re interested in the local food movement or organic farming, pay attention to our next book, “Turn Here Sweet Corn.” Long-time organic farmer Atina Diffley chronicles the ups and downs of running a Minnesota family farm – Gardens of Eagan. The writing in this book is beautiful and lyrical. It combines memoir with organic farming how-to alongside a classic David-and-Goliath story as Atina and her husband take on a major corporation that wants to build a crude oil pipeline across their land.
This book won the Minnesota Book Award for Memoir and Creative Non-fiction in 2013 and can be found at Magrath Library on the St. Paul campus.
‘One! Hundred! Demons!’
Our next book, “One! Hundred! Demons!” by Lynda Barry, was a library staff suggestion and it is the most colorful book in the exhibit. This book won the 2003 Eisner Award for Best New Graphic Album.
“One! Hundred! Demons!” is a collection of memoiristic comic strips that originally appeared in Salon’s ‘Mothers Who Think’ section. The strips cover a variety of content including an ex-boyfriend with head lice, childhood kickball bullies, and rules for who can groove and who really shouldn’t. It can be found in Wilson Library’s general collection.
‘A Frolic of His Own’
And, last but not least, we recommend “A Frolic of His Own” by William Gaddis, which won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1994 and can be found in Wilson Library or the Law Library.
William Gaddis is a keen observer and has a dark sense of humor, which he applies to the American legal system. Gaddis weaves together multiple character’s stories and legal wranglings around one incident – a frivolous case about a dog off on a frolic of his own. I recommend this book to anyone interested in innovative style in fiction or in satire of American culture.
These are just a few of the recommendations in our current display. We hope you’ll check out one of these books or stop by the 1st floor of Wilson Library to take a look at the exhibit.