How about a novel about a dystopian future?

Since the installation of Donald Trump as president of the United States, George Orwell’s 1984 book has climbed up on the bestseller lists in the United States. This is believed to be associated with the use of the term “alternative facts” in an interview by President Donald Trump’s advisor, Keyllyanne Conway. Comparisons were made with the term “newspeak” used in Orwell’s novel from 1949.

1984 is about the oppression in a totalitarian state and a society where all individual freedom has been wiped out. Not even the language of the individual, thoughts or feelings are free. The invisible dictator is constantly present (“Big Brother sees you”). Orwell’s fear was an authoritarian Stalinist future in Britain. The threats may look different today, here’s a list of other known dystopis:

The Handmaid´s tale av Margret Atwood
The Handmaid’s tale is the much discussed story of Offred, service woman in the Republic of Gilead – formerly known as the United States of America – in a near future. In this religious dictatorship, women are no longer allowed to read and have only human dignity in the reproductive sense.

Brave new world av Aldous Huxley
Brave new world is a cornerstone of science fiction classic literature. In the distant future, World Controllers have created the perfect society through genetic manipulation of the population, brainwashing, free drugs and temporary sex. The only one who doesn’t seem to accept the role of a happy consumer is Bernard Marx, who has unnatural addictions for loneliness and disgust for loose that drives him to seek freedom. The only cure he knows can be found in the Savage Reservation, where the old terrible lifestyle remains.

Children of men av P. D. James
Children of men take place in England in 2021, at a time when no children are born on a quarter of a century because all men are hopelessly sterile. Old people are encouraged to commit suicide, immigrant workers are used as slaves and the last born generation, The Omegas, is beautiful but also known for acts of cruelty. The book was filmed in 2006 by Alfonso Cuarón and nominated for three Oscars.

Virutal light av William Gibson
Virtual Light is a detective story placed in a high-tech and multicultural, but decayed future. The place is San Francisco and the year 2005. The bike bid Chevette Washington accidentally end up on a party for filthy wealthy people. She happens to steal a pair of sunglasses by a cheeky guy, but the sunglasses, which do not have a thing to do with sun protection, contains optically stored information and the owner is ready to kill to get them back.

Text: Karin Ekström
Photo: Katharina Nordling

Method books…..again

Most of you will at some point during your education bump into the word METHOD. What is method? why is it so important and why are there so many books on the subject?

There are books on qualitative and quantitative methods, interview methodology, comparative analysis methods, interdisciplinary studies, and much more.

Regardless of what subject you read, there is a relevant method book for your subject. I will not go into the analysis of the word method and its significance, I will instead tell you more about what kind of books we have at the library.

Ett steg till: En metodbok för biblioteksutveckling/ Aleman L.

This book is the result of the project Doublinga- method for library development?It is also a practical guide for libraries that want to work together to achieve business development.

Förhandlingsbart: Metodbok i förhandlingsteknik/ Lempereur A,  Aurélien C & Wetter E.

The book gives you knowledge of the most common pitfalls and dirty tricks in negotiating situations and effective tips to counteract them. you will both learn about Win-Win methods and hard negotiation and how to progressively develop your own personal ability.

Metod & Praktik: Texter om forskning och utvecklingsarbete inom det konstnärliga området/ Lind T.

This book is part of a series of annual publications on the research and development work on the artistic field that is given out by the Swedish Research Council. Last year they released their first book with the title “ArtKnowledgeInsight”. In this book the discussion is about art and science and also problematize or embody questions about artistic research continues. 

Frågor, fält och filer: Kriminologisk metodbok/ Roxel L, Tiby E

In this book, you get to take advantage of both new and established researchers’ experiences, thoughts and methods in CriminologyThe book takes up the question of which or what methods, fits to research question and also the fact that the same research question can give different results when you use different methods.

Text & Photo: Tandis Talay

Time for this year’s Debutant prize!

It´s finally time for Borås Tidning debutant prize to be awarded. It is an annual prize and it is especially exciting for us because it’s happening here in Borås, in cooperation with the University. The awards ceremony takes place on Thursday evening at Borås City Theatre’s main stage where “Lilla Debutant priset” (Little Debutant prize) also is awarded. All these books are written in swedish so if you want to practice the language you have a great opportunity to do so.

If you want to know more about the authors, please read what some of Sweden’s literary critics think about this year’s debutantes. (only in swedish) This year it stands between  För vad sorg och smärta byThom Lundberg, Skuggan by Marit Furns, Tripprapporter by Tone Schunnesson, och vi fortsatte att göra någonting rörande by Elis Burrau and Storm i den pelare som bär by Andreas Lundberg. This year it is one poetry collection and four novels that participates. Associated with this price we are displaying these books at the information desk in the library, welcome to borrow!

Text: Lena Holmberg
Picture: Book covers from www.adlibris.com

Books about the good and / or evil nature of humans

In these days, with reports of atrocities from far and wide, it can be easy to think that the world is a bad place, that mankind is evil and that all hope is gone – but is it really so? In our display cabinets, we currently have an exhibition on the theme Humans – good or evil?.

A central book of the exhibition is The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil by Pilip Zimbardo. The book is divided into two parts and the first part is about Zimbardos study of the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard, often called the Stanford prison experiment. The second part of the book deals with the events that took place inside the Abu Ghraib-prison in 2004. Zimbardo writes that it doesn’t take much for a person to perform evil acts, but he also states that it takes as little for a person to be good or heroic. In this 23 minutes long presentation on TED.com you can listen to Zimbardon when he speaks on the subject.

books_evil_good

The exhibition contains books about human origins and development, good and evil. In addition, we have picked up several novels on the theme. You are free borrow the books in the glass cases, or look up one of our many e-books on these subjects. Here are some examples of e-books:

The question whether humanity is good or evil might not have an answer, maybe because the question is a bit black and white. But reading various theories and books that deal with these issues is one way to deal with the thoughts we get when the news about atrocities in the world never seems to end.

Text: Katharina Nordling

Climate fiction – a highly topical genre

Climate fiction is a growing literary genre that developed out of the threat we know from today’s climate change. A sort of realistic science fiction with disaster elements. The concept was given back in 2007 but no genre has not broke through for real before it had a catchy acronym and a few years ago it finally came – “Cli-Fi”!

It’s about fiction that somehow reflects today’s global warming and give us an interpretation of how our future would look like. Can this literature affect our view on climate change? Maybe we feel more engaged when we skip the scientific talk and are thrown straight into a literary act that could be about ourselves?

Cli-Fi does not give us all the answers but a range of potential future scenarios to consider, it evokes emotion. What happens for example, if that part of the country where I live is flooded, forcing me to move or find other ways to live. Where the living conditions and the rules of the game suddenly change? This highly topical subject attracting different types of readers and is also grateful for cinema. The concept of Cli-Fi is up & coming and hopefully we will soon be able to read more Swedish authors in the genre.

dsc_0023Please read the interview with Dan Bloom, who invented the term and who created the web The Cli-Fi Report (CFR).

If you want to read some Cli-fi novels published in recent years and maybe even some older that also qualify in the field, we have some tips. Some are available in the library:

Meg Little Reilly We Are Unprepared (2016)
Paolo Bacigalupi The water knife (2015)
Camilla Sten En annan gryning (2015)
Kim Stanley Robinson Green Earth (2015) The shortened processing trilogy of Science in the capital consisting of Forty signs of rain (2004), Fifty degrees below (2005) and Sixty days and counting (2007).
Catarina Rolfsdotter Jansson Malmö Manhattan 1994 2024 (2014)
Monica Byrnes The girl in the road (2014)
Margaret Atwood MaddAddam-trilogy with Oryx and Crake (2003),The Year of the Flood (2010) and MaddAddam (2013)
Jesper Weithz Det som inte växer är döende (2012) E-bok
Emmi Itäranta Teemestarin kirja (2012) in english Memory of water
Barbara Kingsolver Flight behavior (2012)
Ian McEwan Solar (2010)
Maggie Gee The Ice People (1998)

Text & picture: Lena Holmberg

Hi Tandis Talay!

image1In a series of portraits we are going to introduce the staff at the Library to all our readers and customers. Who are the people working at the library? And what are they doing there? Read our portraits and get to know your librarians! We asked Tandis a few questions.

What are your main duties?
I work in customer service and just began a week ago, so I’m not sure of all tasks yet, but I know that I will work with scheduling and I will be in charge of the student assistants who work here. It also includes working at the information point 3 times / week, and then also work with the billing of overdue books. And I will also work closely with Campus services and IT.

For how long have you worked here, and what did you do before you started here?
I just started two weeks ago but I have worked here before, two years ago.Then I worked in both Media where I got to work with interlibrary loan and acquisition and Digital Services where Social Media was one of my many tasks.

What were you doing before you started here?
I worked at the University of Gothenburg, mainly at two different libraries: 40% at the Humanities Library in customer service but really most of interlibrary loans and 60% at the Social Science Library as a part of Digital Services, I was a member of the web team.

What do you do when you´re not at work?
I’m either out walking my dog or doing something with the house or having friends over or visiting friends. I recently found an interest in mindfulness and training, so I try to keep that going as well.

Do you have any book recommendations you want to share?
The Art of Hearing Heartbeats of Jan-Philipp Sendker. The book is about a successful lawyer, originally from Burma but lives in New York with his wife and children who do not really know anything about his upbringing. One day he disappears without a word, and his family did not manage to track him beyond Bangkok. Four years later, his daughter Julia finds an old love letter that her father had written to an unknown woman in a small village in Burma. She decides to go there and look for her father. This book makes you think about the stressful life you live and the choices you have made.

Dream Heart by Cecilia Samartin. The book is about two cousins, Nora and Alicia who are living in Cuba during the 1950s. They are best friends and live their dream life until Fidel Castro takes over power. They separated briefly when Nora’s father decides that they should flee to the United States and Alicia’s father and family remains in Cuba. The cousins ​​keep in touch through correspondence. You get to experience how Havana is transformed from the beautiful to the poor ruined city. You also get to experience the struggle for identity. An exciting and entertaining book.

Text: Lena Holmberg och Tandis Talay
Picture: Katharina Nordling