25 November 2019 Blogs

11 Things We’re Reading This Week: 11/25/2019

A roundup of surprising, insightful and interesting stories from the Internet

By Courtney Suciu

  1. A punk goddess and a self-proclaimed “library kid”? We love Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry even more after reading this interview.
  2. Explore the mysterious origins of the Epic of Gilgamesh, the influential epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia.
  3. Test your knowledge of U.S. Presidents with a little quiz (I’m also sharing this with my pub trivia teammates – we struggle with this category!)
  4. Did you know there are at least 15 species – including a butterfly, a carnivorous plant and an aquatic dinosaur – named after iconic natural historian David Attenborough? Learn more about his influence on public understanding of the natural world. (Plus, documentary series Blue Planet, Nature’s Great Events and others narrated by Attenborough are available for streaming with BBC Landmark Video Collection.)
  5. Has social media influenced the contemporary novel? Discover how autofiction by such writers as Elena Ferrante and Karl Ove Knausgaard reflect our changing culture.
  6. Learn about early transcontinental explorations through the travels of Ethiopian monks and dignitaries in Renaissance Italy – and how cultural difference in the era “was grounded not in racial but rather in religious identity.”
  7. Studies of post-Civil War U.S. Reconstruction have much to reveal about how the nation’s political and legal systems developed over the subsequent years. Read more.
  8. Food for thought in this warning about balancing STEM and humanities education – from the hypothetical future.
  9. When the “crossword fad” first struck in the early 20th century, reference librarians bore the brunt when patrons “plagued” them with requests for dictionaries and encyclopedias. Find out other surprising facts in the history of one of our favorite pastimes.
  10. Speaking of surprising histories, discover what life was like for the wives of Medieval werewolves and the “morally questionable” women known as “she-wolves.”
  11. Finals. The holidays. Dealing with end-of-year finances. It’s enough to trigger those of us prone to anxiety! Fortunately, a music therapist has compiled a playlist to help us relax.


Courtney Suciu is ProQuest’s lead blog writer. Her loves include libraries, literacy and researching extraordinary stories related to the arts and humanities. She has a Master’s Degree in English literature and a background in teaching, journalism and marketing. Follow her @QuirkySuciu