Category Archives: General

The Japan Library at WKU Libraries

New to the WKU Libraries collection is the inclusion of several recently acquired books from the “Japan Library” series, published by the Japan Publishing Industry Foundation for Culture in Tokyo, Japan. The Japan Library consists of dozens of Japanese books that have been translated into English for the first time for an international readership. Japan Library books in the collection consist of a diverse range of topics such as economics, folk studies, history, martial arts, political science, religion, science, sociology and more. For example, The Entrepreneur Who Built Modern Japan: Shibusawa Eiichi is a biography by Shimada Masakazu about Shibusawa Eiichi (1840-1931) who served in the Ministry of Finance in the Meiji government before venturing into business and investing in hundreds of companies that were the roots of modern corporate Japan. In The Happy Youth of a Desperate Country: The Disconnect between Japan’s Malaise and Its Millennials, sociologist Noritoshi Furuichi examines the millennial generation in Japan, exploring youth theory and ascertaining the defining voice of this demographic. Alexander Bennet’s Bushido and the Art of Living: An Inquiry into Samurai Values addresses Bushido, Budo, the cultural traditions of Japanese samurai and how it is connected to modern martial arts and Japanese society today.

If you are interested in reading these books or learning more about Japan through the Japanese Library series, use our One-Search Library Catalog to search for “Japan Library” to discover what books the WKU Library Catalog holds from this unique publisher.

The Entrepreneur Who Built Modern Japan: Shibusawa Eiichi

The Entrepreneur Who Built Modern Japan: Shibusawa Eiichi by Shimada Masakazu, translated by Paul Narum

The Happy Youth of a Desperate Country: The Disconnect between Japan's Malaise and Its Millennials

The Happy Youth of a Desperate Country: The Disconnect between Japan’s Malaise and Its Millennials by Noritoshi Furuichi, translated by Raj Mahtani

Bushido and the Art of Living: An Inquiry into Samurai Values

Bushido and the Art of Living: An Inquiry into Samurai Values by Alexander Bennett

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Chinese artist Liu Shuling visits WKU Libraries

Liu and class in the Confucius Institute in WKU Libraries

In the Confucius Institute in WKU Libraries (from left to right): Dr. Wei-Ping Pan, Selina Langford, Carol Watwood, Shaden Melky, WKU students, Bryan Carson, artist Liu Shuling, Daniel Peach, Haiwang Yuan, WKU student, Dr. Bryan Coutts, and Liu’s daughter Liu Jiamei

On Wednesday morning, May 3, WKU Libraries faculty, staff, and students received a  lesson in Chinese calligraphy from famous Gongbi artist Liu Shuling in the Helm Library. Gongi is a careful realist technique in Chinese painting using highly detailed brushstrokes that delimits details very precisely and without independent or expressive variation. Hosted by the Confucius Institute at WKU, Liu Shuling, with assistance from his daughter Liu Jiamei and WKU Librarian Haiwang Yuan who served as translator, discussed his art on display in Helm library and taught library personnel and WKU students the history and art of Chinese calligraphy.

Liu Shuling teaches Chinese calligraphy

Liu Shuling teaches Chinese calligraphy, demonstrating one-on-one with librarian Bryan Carson

The exhibit received media coverage in China.

For more information about the exhibit, see an article from WKU news. See below for example’s of Liu’s recent artwork.

Liu's work in progress

Liu’s work in progress

Liu's work in progress

Liu’s work in progress, depicting an eagle

Liu's recent work featuring azaleas

Dr. Pan, artist Liu Shuling and his daughter Liu Jiamei, looking at Liu’s recent work featuring azaleas.

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“True Stories Artfully Told” at the Southern Kentucky Bookfest, 2017

(From Left to Right) David Gann, Fenton Johnson, Sean Kinder, and Holly Tucker

(From Left to Right) David Grann, Fenton Johnson, Sean Kinder, and Holly Tucker

The 10 a.m. session on Saturday, April 22 drew a crowd to hear the latest about new books from: David Grann, currently the nation’s hottest literary property, according to the Chicago Tribune; Fenton Johnson, one of Kentucky’s most acclaimed writers; Sean Kinder, one of this year’s nominees for the Kentucky Literary Award; and Holly Tucker, whose last book was on many people’s “best of the year” lists.  Brian Coutts served as moderator.

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Gann

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

David Grann, whose new book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, is moving up the best seller lists, talked about the years of investigative research he conducted into the murders of members of the Osage Indians in the early decades of the twentieth century.  It involved combing through FBI files and interviews with descendants. When oil discoveries made the Osage among the wealthiest citizens in America they were targeted by local white residents leading to murders, poisonings, explosions, etc.  Movie rights for this new book were recently auctioned off for $5 million.  A movie adaptation of his 2009 novel The Lost City of Z opened last week nationwide.  Two other movies based on his short stories True Crime and The Old Man and the Gun are in production.

The Man Who Loved Birds by Fenton Johnson

The Man Who Loved Birds by Fenton Johnson

Everywhere Home: A Life in Essays by Fenton Johnson

Everywhere Home: A Life in Essays by Fenton Johnson

Fenton Johnson talked about newest novel The Man Who Loved Birds and a new collection of essays Everywhere Home: A Life in Essays published this week.  The idea for the novel, which is set in Kentucky, he said, had been germinating for a very long time and had been prompted by the murder of a marijuana grower with drug connections in the early 1970s.  The novel involves the relationships between a monk in the Trappist Monastery of Gethsemane, a “marijuana” farmer, and a Hindu woman doctor who’s recruited to provide medical services for the county. Johnson’s next book, based on a 2015 front page article in Harper’s, is due out from Norton in 2018.

Una Merkel: The Actress with Sassy Wit and Southern Charm by Sean Kinder

Una Merkel: The Actress with Sassy Wit and Southern Charm by Sean Kinder

Sean Kinder’s wonderful biography of Covington, Kentucky film star Una Merkel was a finalist for this year’s Kentucky Literary Award.  Una Merkel: The Actress with Sassy Wit and Southern Charm describes her roles in more than a hundred movies, and countless radio and TV shows and memorable appearances on Broadway where she won a Tony for her appearance in the Ponder Heart.  The book was selected by the Huffington Post as one of the “Best Film Books of 2016”.  Sean was a guest at Covington’s summer festival where a new mural of Una Merkel was unveiled.  Kinder told the story of getting out of a cab on the Hollywood “walk of stars” (there are more than 2,600) almost exactly in front of the star for Una—taking this as some kind of sign!

City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris by Holly Tucker

City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris by Holly Tucker

Holly Tucker explained that while doing research for her earlier book Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution she discovered the hand written notes of the Paris Chief of Police during his investigation of the sordid affairs of poisonings, black magic, illegal abortions and much more, which involved not only the upper crust of Parisian nobility but even some of Louis XIV’s mistresses as well.  Talking about her new book, City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris, she answered questions about how Paris became the “city of light” (it was because they began to provide candle illuminations in the late 17th century), the various techniques used to poison unfaithful husbands, and various tortures used to extract information from those involved.  Suffice to say waterboarding is nothing new.

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Kentucky Live! presents Fenton Johnson and “The Man Who Loved Birds: A Novel”

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One of Kentucky’s most celebrated writers, Fenton Johnson, was a featured speaker in our Kentucky Live Series on April 20, 2017 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore. He talked about his newest novel The Man Who Loved Birds set in Nelson county Kentucky.

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Far Away Places presents Ronald Fritze and “Egyptomania: A History of Fascination, Obsession, and Fantasy”

Egyptomania-A-History-Obsession-and-Fantasy (13)
Historian Ron Fritze, Dean of Arts & Sciences at Athens States University, was the featured speaker in WKU Libraries’ April Far Away Places series on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore, Bowling Green, KY. Fritze talked about his newest book Egyptomania: A History of Fascination, Obsession and Fantasy, which, being the 11th of his books, has been drawing international attention.

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McGuffey Readers on Exhibit

McGuffey’s Second Eclectic Reader is one of many from the Library’s collection.

The Kentucky Library Research Collections currently has a display featuring early children’s readers.  William Holmes McGuffey (1800-1873) was a U.S. educator who is best remembered for his series of elementary school reading books called McGuffey Readers. McGuffey was a graduate of Washington College in 1826.  He began teaching in Ohio frontier schools at the age of 14.  During breaks from college studies in Pennsylvania, McGuffey taught elementary school in Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky.  In 1823, McGuffey set up a school in the dining room of Reverend John McFarland, a Presbyterian minister, where he taught for three years.  During his 10 years as a faculty member at Miami University, McGuffey took interest in public education and began assisting teachers at local elementary schools.  He also established a model school in his home for the neighborhood children.

Experts estimate that at least 120 million McGuffey Readers were sold between the years of 1836 and 1960.  The sales of the Readers are in a category with the Bible and Webster’s Dictionary.  Since 1961, McGuffey Readers have sold at a rate of some 30,000 copies a year.  The readers are still in use today at some schools and by parents who homeschool their children.

A sample lesson taken from one of the Library’s McGuffey Readers.

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Far Away Places presents “The Dominican Republic: The Land Columbus Loved, or the Land that Loathes Columbus”

Dominican-Republic (9)
Bellarmine historian Eric Roorda was the featured speaker in WKU Libraries’ Far Away Places series on the evening of March 23, 2017 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Bowling Green, KY, on the topic The Dominican Republic: The Land Columbus Loved, or the Land that Loathes Columbus. His talk concluded with him signing his eponymous book.

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Kentucky Live! presents David J. Bettez with “Kentucky and the Great War: World War I on the Home Front”

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David Bettez, the retired Director of the Office of International Programs at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, spoke in this year’s Kentucky Live! series on March 9, 2017 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore (1680 Campbell Lane). He talked about his newest book Kentucky and the Great War: World War I on the Home Front . The publication of his book and his talk coincide with the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I.

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Kentucky Live! presents “Wine-ing Your Way Across Kentucky” with Becky Kelley & Kathy Woodhouse

Wineing Your Way Across Kentucky (18)
WKU Libraries’ “Kentucky Live!” speaker series opened up its spring season with “Wineing Your Way Across Kentucky: Recipes, History, and Scenery” on the evening of February 16, 2017 in Barnes & Noble Booksellers at Bowling Green, KY. While Kentucky is known for its bourbon industry, wine has been a growing industry in recent years with new wineries applying for licenses every year. Childhood friends Becky Kelley and Kathy Woodhouse traveled across Kentucky visiting over seventy wineries. The book includes Kelley’s description of each winery, with its location, hours, and events information, along with Woodhouse’s amazing photography and favorite recipes using the wines.

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Library Professor named in Huffington Post’s Best Film Books of 2016

Congrats to Library Professor Sean Kinder and author of Una Merkel: The Actress with Sassy Wit and Southern Charm Recently named Huffington Post’s Best Film Books of 2016 (Listed under the section “More biographies of Actresses)!unamerkel_bookjpg

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