This month -- after a short delay! :) -- we're back to highlight two of our Meriam family by sharing their Five Favorite Books with the campus community -- or five of their favorite books, we should say, because who only has five favorites?
Recent addition Tim Fluhr brings 17 years of IT experience to Meriam Library. During his career, he acquired expertise in the administration of various systems and servers, transformation of data, and the management of IT workflow, projects, and strategies. He obtained two master’s degrees: a Master of Science in Information from Florida State University and a Master of Arts in Social Justice and Community Development from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois.
Patrick Newell is the Librarian for Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering; Computer Science; and Construction Management; and is the former Dean of Meriam Library. Patrick holds a BA in Religious Studies from Santa Clara University, a Masters in Philosophy from Fordham University, a Masters in Library and Information Science from UCLA, and a Doctorate in Education Policy from University of California, Davis.
Patrick and Tim have presented some layered and challenging reading for their favorites, so get ready to dig in! Was there a book you read that went in directions you didn't expect? Or that helped you see the world from an unexpected point of view? Feel free to share a favorite book of yours in the comments.
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Murphy by Samuel Beckett. Beckett, in his opening sentences, evokes a fatalism that both thinking beings and inanimate balls of gas hurtling through space share. Monotony and agency are obvious themes throughout, and Murphy, the everyman, is as unremarkable as everyone and everything else.
Stoner by John Williams. This book is not about what you think it is about. And it is not written by the Star Wars music guy. It’s about chasing your passions and then dying after a mediocre life lived while working at a university. I relate.
The Sandman by Neil Gaiman. Follow the adventures of Morpheus, Lord of the Dreaming, and his demi-god siblings, the Endless, as they traverse our dreams, nightmares and our waking world. Long story arcs are buttressed by vignettes borrowing from classical mythology, folklore and religion, making each issue digestible as a standalone read.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain. I like bikes and there is a bicycle cavalry in this book. When I was a kid, I badly wanted a movie of this to be made with Bruce Campbell starring as Hank Morgan.
The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees: Western Region by Elbert Little. There are trees all around us. Get to know their names!
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Patrick shared that he wrote and then lost this list a few times, so we're happy to have them down!
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead.
The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu.
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie.
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut.
Confidence Man by Maggie Haberman.