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Subodh Gupta : Gandhi's three monkeys

[Longhorn Review] Subodh Gupta : Gandhi's three monkeys

Material Type: All, books — Tags: falstaffpicks, sculpture — Posted on February 13, 2009, 12:08 pm

By: Subodh Gupta

An amazing contemporary artist that sculpture enthusiasts should know
about…

Reviewer: Laura

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America

[Longhorn Review] America

Material Type: All, books — Tags: documentary photography, falstaffpicks — Posted on February 13, 2009, 12:05 pm

By: Zoe Strauss

Real, provocative, startling images.

Reviewer: Laura

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Andhra Culture: A Petal in Indian Lotus

[Longhorn Review] Andhra Culture: A Petal in Indian Lotus

Material Type: All, books — Tags: India — Posted on February 9, 2009, 8:51 am

By: Parthasarathy, R.

Awesome Book !!!!!! I had the chance to read this book on my recent visit to
India when one of my friends recommended it. I have lived in Andhra Pradesh for 23
years. This book gave me an insight into so many customs and traditions. Very
interesting read. The author has given a lot of thought and has researched into many
nuances and details of Andhra culture. This book is truly a gem. The book is a petal
to Indian literature lotus. A must read for anyone interested about Indian
culture.

Reviewer: Longhorn Reviewer

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An Egyptian grammar with chrestomathy and glossary

[Longhorn Review] An Egyptian grammar with chrestomathy and glossary

Material Type: All, Books — Tags: ancient egyptian, egypt, egyptian, grammar, hieroglyphics, hieroglyphs — Posted on January 31, 2009, 9:11 am

By: Mercer, Samuel A. B.

Be aware that this text is exactly what its title says it is: a grammar. The text
is terse and to the point - out of the book's 184 pages, only the first 86 actually
contain English text. The rest are the selection of Egyptian readings (or
"Chrestomathy" as he calls it) and the sign list.

Furthermore, the copies printed by
Ares are exact duplicates of the original edition (1926, London). When this was
written, it was still a fairly safe assumption that anyone reading it had already
studied Latin and probably Greek. As a result, you will find this rough going if
you're not already familiar with grammatical terms borrowed from Latin and Greek. I
had some Latin and Anglo-Saxon before I was assigned this book as an introductory
text. Most of my classmates did not have that background. I learned a good deal from
this book; they, mostly, did not.

In short, if you don't know what a "dual pronoun"
is, you need a newer, friendlier book. I have some recommendations.

For a
comprehensive introductory textbook aimed at those with a serious interest in
mastering Middle Egyptian, try "Middle Egyptian: an introduction to the language and
culture of hieroglyphs" by James P. Allen. If your interest is more casual, you may
find "How To Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs" by Mark Collier and Bill Manley helpful.
Both base their examples on texts found in museum pieces.

Alan Gardiner's "Egyptian
Grammar" is still fairly comprehensive, but decidedly dated. Avoid anything by
E.A.W. Budge - he published prolifically, but also sloppily. There are a great many
errors in Budge's work, which will cause you no end of headaches if you try and use
his texts as study guides.

Lastly, for a good dictionary try "A Concise Dictionary
of Middle Egyptian" by Raymond Faulkner. Note that this book is handwritten lecture
notes in published form, so it can be hard to read. The English index was published
as a separate volume, the "English-Egyptian index of Faulkner's Concise dictionary
of Middle Egyptian" by David Shennum. These two are expensive; refer to them at a
library if you can.

Reviewer: Will Martin

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Meet Kirsten, an American girl, 1854

[Longhorn Review] Meet Kirsten, an American girl, 1854

Material Type: All, books — Tags: American Girl — Posted on January 16, 2009, 12:30 pm

By: Shaw, Janet Beeler

I was introduced to the American Girl series a few years back when I got them for
my step daughter. I read hem and began to get more and more interested in their
stories. My office mate is a huge AG doll collector and I asked her to check on a
particular miniture doll for me; they come in two sizes. She did and I was able to
obtain my very firs american Girl Doll. Her name is Samantha. Every time anew movie
or book comes out I look forward, with much anticipation, to checking in out. I just
saw Crissa on DVD and she was great. Kristen is next on my list. Each girl
represents a different era in America's history.

Reviewer: Longhorn Reviewer

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Race and the subject of masculinities

[Longhorn Review] Race and the subject of masculinities

Material Type: All, books — Tags: culture, gender, masculinity — Posted on January 5, 2009, 8:53 am

By: Harry Stecopoulos

This ground-breaking collection of essays brings together some of the best
scholarship on the cultural intersections of race and masculinity, understood as a
pluralistic concept. Future work in the areas of gender construction, masculinity,
and racial identity will continue to depend on this volume's intellectual
contribution.

Reviewer: Longhorn Reviewer

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Judaism in biological perspective : biblical lore and Judaic practices

[Longhorn Review] Judaism in biological perspective : biblical lore and Judaic practices

Material Type: All, books — Tags: judaism, science — Posted on January 5, 2009, 8:49 am

By: Rick Goldberg

This book is an edited volume of science-based essays written by biological
anthropologists/psychologists and Judaic scholars. Can there be rational examples of
the compatibility between natural science and Judaism? This book offers a strikingly
novel perspective on traditional and contemporary Judaic practices. For those with
some Judaic knowledge, there are biological explanations in these chapters not seen
elsewhere. For those well-versed in evolutionary theory, the authors’ perspectives
suggest new approaches to the scientific study of religion. Topics include the
monistic tendency, biblical polygyny, biblical family conflict, circumcision and
proselytes, sacrificial-ritualistic mitzvot (obligations), periodic conjugal
separation, Judaic traditionalism, male and female reproductive strategies, and the
relationship between costly signaling and prestige.

Reviewer: Longhorn Reviewer

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Calvin and Hobbes: Sunday papers, 1985-1995

[Longhorn Review] Calvin and Hobbes: Sunday papers, 1985-1995

Material Type: All, books — Posted on December 15, 2008, 8:33 am

By: Watterson, Bill

This book is like totally kewl and it is soooooooooooooooooooooo funny :D

Reviewer: Longhorn Reviewer

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American Wife: A Novel

[Longhorn Review] American Wife: A Novel

Material Type: All, books — Tags: Laura Bush — Posted on December 12, 2008, 8:57 am

By: Sittenfeld, Curtis

The summary says most of what you need to know about plot, leaving out only that
this is a novel about sphinx-like first lady Laura Bush. What *must* she think of it
all? The bulk of the novel, and the best part, deals with the early life of Alice
Blackwell, the LB-surrogate, in the days before her husband became first a governor,
then POTUS. Sittenfeld gives some sympathetic insight into how someone could find
herself living a life "in opposition to itself." This novel will make you want to
read bios of Laura Bush, as well as more fiction by Curtis Sittenfeld.

Reviewer: tonstant weader

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Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood

[Longhorn Review] Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood

Material Type: All, Books — Tags: film, hollywood, mike nichols, Movies, sidney poitier, warren beatty — Posted on December 11, 2008, 9:14 am

By: Harris, Mark

Any serious or casual movie buff should read this book. It interweaves the
stories of five movies nominated for Best Picture Oscar in 1967: "In the Heat of the
Night", "The Graduate", "Bonnie and Clyde", "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner", and -
most improbably - "Dr. Dolittle". These disparate films, with their long, tortured
development and production histories vividly described, represent a watershed moment
in the history of the US film industry. The old Studio System, dominated by moguls
and super-producers like Jack Warner, Joe E. Levine, Stanley Kramer, Walter Mirisch,
and the like, was tottering on its last legs, consumed with turning out expensive
"road-show" musicals and epics like "Cleopatra", "The Sound of Music," and "The
Bible" - which, if successful, could put a studio in fine financial condition. But
if they failed, which they began to do with shocking regularity in the mid-60s, they
could break a studio and end careers.

"Guess/Dinner" and "Dr. Dolittle" represented
this Old Hollywood model in 1967. "Dinner" was the last teaming of the legendary
screen duo of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, who died shortly after filming
was completed. It was glossy, tame, and relentlessly old-fashioned despite its
"risky" subject matter of an interracial marriage. Despite critical drubbing, it was
a huge hit. "Dr. Dolittle" conversely was a ghastly flop, attempting to bring an
aging series of children's books to the big screen with a big splashy budget and the
musical-comedy star of the moment Rex Harrison. None of it worked for a minute, the
reviews were savage and the kids stayed away, but that didn't prevent its studio
from buying its way into the Oscar race.

But real change was in the air. Warren
Beatty, then a successful young star, tried his hand at producing a film that would
translate the concepts of the French New Wave to American audiences. "Bonnie and
Clyde" was very stylish, hip, and youth-oriented despite its shocking - to audiences
of the time - bloody violence. Beatty sold the concept to Warner Brothers, despite
Jack Warner's antipathy to the concept and the final result. Even though Warner did
their best to bury the film after its initial release, word of mouth and Beatty's
relentless salesmanship eventually made the film a must-see hit and one of the most
talked about and written about films of the last 50 years.

Coming alongside it was
"The Graduate", an edgy anti-establishment film based on a novel by Charles Webb and
directed by Broadway wunderkind Mike Nichols, and starring an unknown New York actor
named Dustin Hoffman. The risks Nichols took in a script by Buck Henry and casting
Hoffman paid off in a huge way, resulting in another iconic masterpiece.

Falling
somewhere in between was Norman Jewison's "In the Heat of the Night", a tense story
of a black detective (Sidney Poitier) helping a racist Southern sheriff (Rod
Steiger) solve a small town murder.

Poitier, then the only African-American movie
star with proven box office clout, also starred as the saintly groom-to-be in "Guess
Who's Coming to Dinner" the same year, but was not nominated for an Oscar for either
one. Poitier was stuck between his uncomfortable role as a movie star expected to
present the best features of his race to traditional white audiences still not used
to seeing black leading men, and the high expectations of younger and black
audiences who wanted a stronger, rougher, less idealized black man to be an advocate
for civil rights. Poitier's dilemma is a centerpiece of Harris' book.

The book is
meticulously researched, and Harris interviewed most of the surviving principals.
The narrative makes very clear how agonizing making a film can be, and how perilous
the process is at every step: artistic and financial compromises must be made, years
and scripts go by, stars come in and drop out, and the whole thing can fall apart at
any minute. The determination of producers and directors to see the process through
is truly an act of love and faith.

Harris' book serves as a prequel of sorts to
"Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" which chronicles the "second golden age" of American
filmmaking in the 1970s, before blockbusters and comic book retreads destroyed what
was left of the studio system. The mid-1960s was a time of transition that laid the
groundwork for directors (auteurs) like Coppola, Altman, Ashby, Scorsese, Hopper,
Friedkin, Cimino, and others to create enduring films outside the Hollywood factory
system. Harris captures this change with a wonderfully written history of a
Hollywood long gone.

Reviewer: David Flaxbart

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