Monday, September 30, 2013

A Tale for the Time Being is now available as an eBook!

Are you a Kindle person, a Nook person, or an iPad person? Penguin Books, publisher of A Tale for the Time Being, announced on September 25th that their eBook catalog is now available via OverDrive for free download to portable e-readers including Nooks, Kindles and iPads. The Wisconsin Public Library Consortium, which includes Madison Public Library and all South Central Library System public libraries, has added 25 copies of this year's Go Big Read book to the WPLC digital library.

This eBook is available to read with the OverDrive Read browser reader, as well as most devices and Kindle. (Of note to Kindle users:  Penguin ebook titles are available for Kindle users via the USB sideloading only.)  Public library users may already be familiar with this process. If not, this OverDrive Help article covers it, or users can call their local library for help.

If you are not familiar with Overdrive, start here!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Go Big Read book discussions

Have you already finished A Tale for the Time Being? Are you disappointed that there's more than a month to go until our author event on October 28? Have no fear!

Madison Public Library is partnering with Go Big Read to host book discussions throughout the community. All discussions are free and open to the public, with no pre-registration required; all you have to do is show up (and probably read the book first)! No matter where you live in Madison, odds are a library near you has a discussion coming up sometime soon.

This month alone, you could head south along Park Street to check out the discussion at Goodman Branch this Saturday. Or take the opportunity to hang out in the gorgeous new Central Library (side note, who's going to Stacked! tonight?) on September 25 by participating in their evening discussion. And Meadowridge Branch is holding a discussion next Saturday.

October and November are chock full of MPL/GBR book discussions, too, as well as other events (Kanji-writing workshop, anyone?). If you want to check out your library's discussion group or find one that fits in your schedule, visit our Events page.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, September 9, 2013

Emotional Intelligence: Why discuss sensitive topics in an academic setting?

University Health Services
“All learning has an emotional base.” – Plato

As our campus community comes together to read Ruth Ozeki’s novel A Tale for the Time Being, readers may be taken aback by the themes of suicide, trauma, and mental illness. Sensitive topics, such as suicide, can evoke a wide range of emotions. These themes also bring up the questions, “What is the value of discussing such sensitive topics in an academic setting?” and “How can they happen in emotionally safe and meaningful ways?”

Emotional intelligence refers to one’s ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions. Building this intelligence is a crucial step in individual development. Our feelings and emotions ultimately guide our thinking and actions, whether we are aware of it or not. And, to get back to the question at hand, a key step in developing emotional intelligence involves using emotions to promote thinking and cognitive activity.

At UW-Madison, we pride ourselves on providing a liberal arts education to our students. The Wisconsin Idea promotes educational experiences both in and out of the classroom. We hope that students leave our university with an understanding of how their coursework is relevant to their lives and communities. Emotional intelligence is an often undervalued aspect of a college education that prepares people to navigate relationships and contribute to the world around them.

Having an open dialogue in an academic setting communicates to students that these issues are important to both emotional and intellectual development. Talking about mental illness helps reduce stigma and makes it clear that UW-Madison respects the very real and diverse experiences students bring to the classroom.
If conversations about trauma or suicide are happening in academic settings, students need to know that instructors value their feelings and wellbeing. Instructors can do this by providing a trigger warning before reading sensitive material. Without a warning, students may feel bombarded with difficult memories or emotions, especially if they have personally had traumatic experiences. Their sole focus will be dealing with their own reaction to the material, which may interfere with their ability to engage academically. Instructors can also help create a safe space in the classroom by establishing ground rules for discussion and stressing the importance of using respectful language and listening practices.
Finally, when discussing sensitive topics, instructors should know what resources exist for any student who might feel triggered by the material. University Health Services is available 24-hours a day if students need support processing their emotions or have other mental health concerns. University faculty and staff can also contact UHS at (608)265-5600, option 9 for after-hours mental health crisis services.

For a full list of mental health and suicide prevention resources, visit

Valerie Kowis
Suicide Prevention Coordinator
University Health Services

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Guest Book Review: Thoughts from Louise Robbins

Guest Review:

I have just finished reading the BIG READ book: Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being
Me: "I'm finished. I'm sad."  
Patrick Robbins: "Did it have a sad ending?" 
Me: "No. I'm sad there is no more to read."

It’s a wonderful book with too many discussable themes to count. Off the top of my head: the environment; technology and its uses; zen Buddhism; war; bullying; the aesthetics and ethics of suicide; being and time; history and memory; mutual construction of the writer and the reader. And none of these weighty themes are pounded or expounded to oblivion. The characters—and the settings—grabbed me and kept me spellbound. I found myself torn between jotting notes in the margin and rushing headlong to the next page. The next page won. I'm going to read it again.
A Tale for the Time Being joins two other books of the last ten years on my list of favorites: The Poisonwood Bible and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.
I’m hoping to participate in some of the discussions. And you may find me sitting zazen.
Professor Emerita,
School of Library and Information Studies

*If you'd like to submit a review, please contact us! 

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

5,500+ Books in Under a Minute

More than 5,500 copies of  A Tale for the Time Being flew out the doors of the Kohl Center after Convocation.  Checkout this cool 60 seconds time lapse video of all those books leaving.

Also, keep an eye out for a special glimpse of Bucky.  Many lucky students received their book directly from him!

Note: Change the video quality to 1080p HD if this is fuzzy for you. 

*A special thank you to Dave Luke for producing this video.   

Labels: , , , , , , , ,