Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Summer Reading...

Hello everyone,

It is Carl again, your loyal cataloger, ready to encourage you to do a little light reading over break, between catching up on all of your paper writing.  [Yes, I remember those days when I was also an undergrad and wouldn't trade them for the world.]  I again report to you from the hub of Lane Library where amazing things continue to happen - behind the scenes.

I'm sure some of you wonder what your librarians do when they are not at their desks.  Like all people, we do a variety of things, including reading.  After the release of the movie DIVERGENT (which I haven't had a chance to see - yet), I wanted to know more about the story.  Lane Library owns the collection of novels, so I decided to sit down and read them.  I was drawn in immediately by the characters and storyline.  So, that is the background to today's blog post.  I am very happy I read them and I would encourage you to consider doing the same sometime - maybe even over fall break.

I'm sure that some of you have already seen the film DIVERGENT or have read the book series that I mentioned above by Veronica Roth.  For those of you who are not familiar with Roth's series and do not mind a few spoilers, read on.  Veronica's series is a work of Dystopian fiction, and it revolves around a society somewhere in the future, located in the ruins of the once great metropolis of Chicago.  To set the stage, we meet a young woman named Beatrice Prior who is a member of one of the groups that makes up this society.  The society she lives in consists of five groups of people, known as factions.  At the age of 16, each young person in this society must take a test which determines which faction that person actually belongs.  Upon taking this test, Beatrice finds out that she is divergent and that she has a proclivity for multiple factions.  She must keep this fact a secret, for to reveal this could lead to her untimely death.  On choosing day, she chooses a much different faction than she grew up in.  This is where the story really gets interesting.

Spoiler Alert:  This is a story of growth through strife.  First Beatrice must survive the initiation into the faction she chose, which is very difficult.  Then she must then survive a civil war, only to discover that she and everyone she loves is part of a closed experiment and genetic restoration project.  Talk about turning one's world upside down.  Let's just say that the young woman you meet at the beginning of this story is not the person you know at the end.  Since this story takes place in post-apocalyptic  Chicago, many iconic places are mentioned, including Millennium Park, Navy Pier, The Hancock Center, O'Hare Airport, the Chicago 'L', and even the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (briefly in the third book).  

So, if you want a little light reading set in a strangely familiar world, I'd suggest checking out DIVERGENT, INSURGENT, and ALLEGIENT.  These books (and many, many more) are available at Lane Library, and at other libraries in this area. 

This is Carl the Cataloging Librarian signing off.  Happy reading, and have a great Fall Break!

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