Mountains Beyond Mountains

May 29, 2009

 If you like to read and then discuss what you’ve read, consider the book Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder.

 This fall students in twenty-five sections of freshman opportunities and orientation courses, such as General Studies 100, will be reading the book, a biography of Dr. Paul Farmer.  Farmer, a world leader in public health and medical anthropology, founded Partners in Health, an organization which has provided health care to disadvantaged populations throughout the world, conducted ground-breaking research, and influenced policy in world health organizations.

 The book focuses on Farmer, a fascinating individual, who Kidder describes as “a man who would cure the world,” but it also invites discussions of broad and varied topics like public health, poverty and wealth, land use, and the responsibilities of the individual.  

 This fall you’ll find plenty of students who have read the book, but if you can’t wait contact Tim Nichols, Dean of the Honors College, at 605-688-5268, about a summer reading group. 

 To further advance study and discussion, Dr. Farmer will speak on campus on November 19, 2009, as the Griffith Honors Forum lecturer. 

 Ready to get started?  The library has two copies of Mountains Beyond Mountains (BOOKS/UPPER LEVEL R154.F36 K53 2003) and the University Bookstore has copies for sale.

 If you are interested in further investigation of the topics addressed in the book, the library has many resources available.  Search the library’s catalog to find records for books and government documents; search databases, such as EBSCOhost Megafile and ProQuest, for articles in newspapers, magazines and journals.   Also consult the library’s Topic Guides for research guidance in a particular subject area.  Librarians are available to help you research—consult with us in-person at the Information Desk, send an e-mail, a text message, or set up an appointment

 Happy reading!

 Linda Kott
Information Services Librarian


Book Review: Camouflage by Joe Haldeman

September 26, 2008

Book Title: Camouflage | Author: Joe Haldeman | Genre: Science Fiction | Call Number: PS3558.A353 C36 2004 (Shelved in the Recent Fiction Collection in Briggs Library)

Millions of years ago, the Changeling came to Earth from a group of stars 10,000 light years distant. It had the ability to change itself into any species of life and imitate not only the appearance but also the physiology of the species. It spent thousands of years as microscopic organisms in the sea where it landed and left its ship. It spent thousands of years as other sea creatures including killer sharks and whales. In 1931 it crawled out of the sea near San Quillermo California and encountered a human, who it killed and assumed his identity. It was fascinated by humans and learned quickly about them, and over the years, it lived as both men and women. It served in the Army and was good at killing, but it also earned several college degrees including several PhDs. It lost track of its ship and forgot about where it was from. However, it knew it was different and sought information about its origin. Meanwhile in 2019 a salvage company discovers a strange artifact that had been buried deep beneath the ocean floor. Although not large, its mass was inexplicable. A team of scientists is assembled to study the artifact, but it proves to be impenetrable. The Chameleon was another alien (a different species) who had lived on Earth for millions of years. It could also imitate the appearance of other species but not as easily as the Changeling. The two creatures did not know of the existence of each other, but they were constantly searching for other beings like them. The Chameleon was not really interested in humans, except to exploit them and kill them. Both the Changeling and the Chameleon were drawn to the site where the unknown artifact is being examined. The Changeling in the guise of a woman scientist lands a job with the project and develops a relationship with one of the lead scientists. The inevitable confrontation between the Changeling and the Chameleon, along with the love affair between the Changeling and the scientist, creates a very exciting and satisfying ending. This well-deserved Nebula Award winner is another very interesting novel by Joe Haldeman. – Reviewed by: Newt