New Books

Which one of our new books is your next read?

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What We’re Reading – Dietland

This book was read by Courtney Bippley and Meredith Lewis.

Dietland by Sarai Walker

Title: Dietland

Author: Sarai Walker

Summary: Plum Kettle does her best not to be noticed, because when you’re fat, to be noticed is to be judged. Or mocked. Or worse. With her job answering fan mail for a popular teen girls’ magazine, she is biding her time until her weight-loss surgery. Only then can her true life as a thin person finally begin.

Then, when a mysterious woman starts following her, Plum finds herself falling down a rabbit hole and into an underground community of women who live life on their own terms. There Plum agrees to a series of challenges that force her to deal with her past, her doubts, and the real costs of becoming “beautiful.” At the same time, a dangerous guerrilla group called “Jennifer” begins to terrorize a world that mistreats women, and as Plum grapples with her personal struggles, she becomes entangled in a sinister plot. The consequences are explosive.

Why did you choose to read this book?

Courtney: This books is being turned into a TV show this year which checks one of the boxes in the Library’s Read Great Things Challenge 2018. And, the premise was interesting to me.

Meredith: I think I read a review of it? I’m often interested in books that explore themes surrounding how society and women view their own bodies as a part of and as an obstacle in the world.

What did you like about it?

C: I liked a lot of the themes of the book. It has a very feminist bent to it and I enjoyed reading about a character discovering a different way of looking at the world, and herself.

M: As a non-Jennifer in a sea of Jennifers in elementary school especially, I kind of loved that the vigilante lady group was called Jennifer.

What feeling did the book leave you with?

C: When I finished the book I felt like I wanted more from it. There were a lot of supporting characters that I was interesting in and who could have had their own stories told. If a sequel came out (there isn’t one as far as I know) I would definitely pick it up.

M: It made me think about how powerful society’s expectations can be on our own sense of self and what we think we deserve (and tolerate) based on that. Other stuff, too. I thought this was a great book, but (and?) it left me thinking about a lot of things.

Who would you recommend the book to?

C: Anyone who is interested in exploring feminist ideas but is not interested in reading nonfiction essays and wants something a little juicier.

M: Someone who doesn’t mind a book about women behaving “badly” (both by societal and, uh, legal standards) and maybe someone who is identifying with the feelings behind the current #metoo movement.

What would you pair this book with?

C: I would pair this book with a plate of chocolate oatmeal cookies to be eaten while driving an M113 armored personnel vehicle. Like you do.

M: I’d pair it with Roxane Gay’s Hunger. Similar themes, different genres.

What We Read in 2017: The Durham Tech Faculty and Staff Favorites Edition

In a repeating series highlighting current and recent reads around Durham Tech, here’s Durham Tech’s awesome faculty and staff’s favorite reads from all of 2017:

As always, if you’re interested in a title, check out the master list of the books below and their availability to see if you can find it at Durham Tech or if you’ll need to request it through interlibrary loan (find this request under eforms). Need help doing either of these things or don’t yet have a library card? Ask in the library.

Here’s the list of Durham Tech’s favorite reads of 2017 (and their availability) in pdf format: Durham Tech Best Reads of 2017

Is your department, club, campus, committee, or subgroup interested in participating in a What We’re Reading blog post? The goal of the What We’re Reading posts is to highlight books, professional literature, blogs, or any other things you might be currently reading or have recently finished. Contact OCC librarian Meredith Lewis for more information.

#ReadGreatThings2018: Books to Movies and/or Television

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but 2018 is here and the library is launching a reading challenge!

Read Great Things Challenge Logo

To help you discover books for the reading challenge categories, we will be highlighting books from our collection that fit into different categories (and also count towards that last one– librarian recommendations).

Get excited!

Stephen Colbert and Kermit the frog waving their arms around excitedly

This month we’re covering books that will be turned into movies or television shows this year.

These are only a few of all the page-to-screen adaptations happening this year, but you can find more here, here, and here.

#readgreatthings2018 protip: Many of these books can count towards 2 categories.

Remember, if we don’t have a copy of a book you’d like to read, we can get it for you through inter-library loan. Just ask a librarian.


Looking for a way to challenge your reading self in 2018?

Have we got a plan for you!

Durham Tech Library's Read Great Things 2018 Challenge

What is the Read Great Things Challenge?

The Read Great Things Challenge is a reading challenge sponsored by the Durham Tech Library throughout 2018 that encourages folks to diversify or increase their reading goals by completing books that fit into at least 10 of the following 12 categories:

  • A book being turned into a movie or tv show in 2018
  • A biography, autobiography, memoir, or a fictionalized account of a real person’s life
  • A book about or that features sports
  • A book of poetry or a book written in verse
  • A book you previously started or were assigned and never finished
  • A book that takes place in a country or place you’d like to visit
  • A book you chose for the cover
  • A book that takes place during or is about a historical event 50 years or more in the past [1968 or before]
  • A popular science book [nonfiction books that talk about scientific topics from a non-textbook point-of-view]
  • A book with a supernatural creature, occurrence, or event
  • A book about cooking or food
  • A book suggested by a Durham Tech librarian either in-person or on the Durham Tech Library Blog

We’ll be highlighting a different category on this blog each month.  Your can always ask a librarian for recommendations if you can’t think of a book to read for a certain category (which conveniently fills that final awesome category).

How do I participate in the Read Great Things Challenge?

It’s pretty simple –just start reading! You don’t have to sign up and you can start at any point in the year. You’ll need to choose books that fit into at least 10 of the 12 categories by the end of Fall Semester (December 2018) to complete the challenge.

There’s also a joinable Sakai site (listed under Membership on your Sakai home page once you sign in) that we’ll be using if you want to discuss books you’re reading and recommend some of your own great reads. Email Meredith Lewis (OCC Librarian) or the library for more information. 

What kind of book counts as a “great thing”?

All books count–hardcover, paperback, ebooks, audiobooks, graphic novels, comic books, library books, books you own, books you’ve borrowed… If it fits into one (or two) of the categories and you’ve read it/want to read it, that counts. As long as it’s read in 2018, you’re good to go. 

Can I count a book for multiple categories?

One book can count for up to two categories.

How do I win the challenge? (What do I win?)

To win and complete the challenge, you should finish books in 2018 that fit into at least 10 of the 12 listed categories. In late November or early December, we’ll have bookish prizes available for those who bring their completed book list to the library or fill out the completion form.

You’ll also get a personal sense of satisfaction and bragging rights. (And who doesn’t love those?)

Do the books have to be from the Durham Tech Library?

Nope, but we’re glad to point you in the direction of one already in our collection. We have some great books just waiting to make it on your list.

Download a pdf of the checklist and challenge guidelines here: Read Great Things Challenge 2018

New resources for the new year!

The library provides more than 95 databases and online resources for students, faculty, and staff. Here is the complete list of all databases that can be browsed by name, subject, or database type:

For remote off-campus access, use WebAdvisor login credentials.

The following new resources have just been added!

Mango Languages: Language-learning software with over 70 world language courses and over 17 ESL courses.

CINAHL Plus with Full Text: Database of nursing and allied health journals with additional materials that include evidence-based care sheets, audiovisuals, and continuing education modules.

Testing and Education Reference Center:

A testing and education preparation resource that includes in-depth information on college, graduate, and professional programs, professional training, and entrance tests alongside practice tests for entrance exams, certifications, and licensing exams.


Consumer Reports via MasterFILE:  Popular collection of product reviews and recommendations for cars, appliances, electronics, personal finance, and health information.

Cypress Resume
:  Easy-to-use résumé building tool and cover letter resource.

NoveList Plus: Book recommendation resource covering fiction, nonfiction, and audiobooks.

ProQuest Historic North Carolina Digital Newspaper Collection: 3.5 million digitized pages of historic newspaper content from the North Carolina Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Automate: Database with authoritative and up-to-date auto repair and service information on more than 38,000 vehicles.

Biography Reference Center: A comprehensive collection of full-text biographies on popular and historical figures.

For database descriptions and information on additional resources, view our New Resources handout 2018.

Don’t hesitate to contact library staff with any questions.  Happy browsing, reading, researching, and language learning in 2018!