DVD Picks: Thanksgiving on TV

by Terri Robar, Learning & Research Services

You probably know that our DVD collection has movies but did you realize that we also have television shows? To help you get into the holiday mood, we’ve chosen some favorite Thanksgiving episodes from these series. Happy Turkey Day!

The following TV series are a part of Richter Library’s DVD collection. In addition to the thousands of DVDs spanning comedy, drama, sci-fi, horror, documentary, and other genres, UM Libraries also houses film-related materials such as screenplays, soundtracks, musical scores, and original book titles. Search the catalog to browse music and print resources related to these films.

Buffy Cover

Buffy Summers and the rest of the gang get a Thanksgiving surprise when the spirit of a Native American warrior returns to the land of the living.

On Thanksgiving, Bart gets into a fight with the family and runs away from home before sharing a turkey dinner with a group of homeless people at a soup kitchen and learning the true meaning of the holiday in the process.

Diane is one of the few graduate students selected to spend Thanksgiving with her professor and his family in the “Pilgrim tradition.”

Dozens of Chinese stowaways are discovered in a container ship in California; Toby looks to pick a fight over school prayer with a recess appointment; Thanksgiving at the White House sees C.J. in charge of turkeys and Charlie looking for the ultimate carving knife.

Frasier, Martin, and Niles fly to Boston for Thanksgiving. Frasier and Lilith go together for an interview with the principal of an exclusive boarding school, hoping to gain a spot for Frederick. They are so dogged that the principal agrees to admit Frederick if they both promise that he’ll never lay eyes on either of them again.

It’s Thanksgiving in a few days but the family nature of the holidays will be difficult for many to achieve. Don refuses to join Betty and the children with her family for the holidays, he balking at the notion of the long drive and short time to spend there.

The Conner family steps it up for this Thanksgiving episode after Roseanne wins the lottery. Roseanne and Jackie’s mother, Bev, is outraged at the idea of a gay couple adopting children and, in the middle of a dinnertime diatribe, accidentally outs her own attraction to women.

What do a pack of genetically-modified murderous turkeys, a Braveheart parody, Sally Struthers, and a starving Ethiopian child have in common? They’re all part of this deliciously wicked Thanksgiving episode, which became an instant classic for the subversive series.

The gang relives their worst Thanksgivings, including Joey getting a turkey stuck on his head, Chandler’s parents getting divorced, and Monica accidentally cutting off Chandler’s toe. It all ends with Monica with a turkey on her head, with sunglasses and a fez, shimmying.

Carol Hathaway faces an ethical dilemma when a patient admits that he, and not his friend, was driving the car that ran a red light and killed a pedestrian. It’s Thanksgiving and the doctors treat an animal rights activist who was attacked by the turkey he was trying to save. Doug Ross is going to the Bahamas with Linda Farrell and he is very much feeling like a kept man. Carter has to treat a transgender woman who has now reached an age where she can no longer pass as a woman.

Rita prepares a big Thanksgiving meal while Dexter and Debra conduct investigations. Dexter stops by Arthur’s house for a visit and realizes that though Arthur is in appearance the happy family man, he is in fact terrorizing his family. According to Arthur’s son Jonah, they are all regularly beaten. Jonah is afraid to confront his father and invites Dexter for Thanksgiving dinner.

House and the team take on the case of James Sidas, an exceptionally brilliant physicist and author who traded his successful career for a job as a courier. For the ailing patient, intelligence is a miserable burden that has prompted depression and addiction, and this, coupled with his myriad unusual symptoms, nearly stumps the team. Meanwhile, the doctors at Princeton Plainsboro wrestle with strained personal relationships on the eve of Thanksgiving.

Join the Writing Center’s Mini Classics Book Club


Join in the discussion every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Richter Library.

The Writing Center’s Mini Classics Book Club meets each Tuesday evening at Richter Library (room 225) from 6:30 to 7:30. The newly formed club is a wonderful opportunity to expand your literary horizons with classic works of around 100 pages.

The club is now reading The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. Released in 1952, this 127-page book is Hemingway’s most popular work, about an aging Cuban fisherman, alone in a small skiff, who catches a magnificent marlin and must defy the sea, marauding sharks, and his own flagging strength to bring his great catch home.

Whether you have started the book, finished the book or are just interested in the book, you are more than welcome to join. For questions or to find out more, please contact UM librarian Ava Brillat at abrillat@miami.edu.

32nd Annual Miami Book Fair International

By James Wargacki, Learning & Research Services

Now is a good time for Miamians to start reading up on what’s happening in the book world. After all, from November 15 to 22, the Magic City is at the center of it. The 32nd annual Miami Book Fair International, held in downtown Miami, will feature many of the year’s most important authors and titles worldwide. It’s a celebration of books, with appeal not only to readers of fiction but also enthusiasts of music, movies, art, and food, as well as history buffs, political followers, and the infinite other aspects of culture that inform, inspire, and are influenced by the written word.

Of course, many attendees simply enjoy the opportunity to browse tens of thousands of books while enjoying Miami’s warm November breeze.


Check out Bryan Doerries’ latest from Richter Library.

Here are some of the featured presenters during the week:

  • Beginning on Sunday, November 15, rock-and-roll icon Patti Smith will discuss her music and the stories behind it in presenting her latest book M Train.
  • Later in the week photographer Lisa Leone leads a discussion of the roots of hip-hop with special guests including hip-hop pioneer Fab 5 Freddy, actress Rosie Perez, and hip-hop artist Mare 139.
  • Podcast fans can witness the live recording of Working Poet Radio Show on Saturday night as Joseph Lapin interviews comic author Derf Backderf, Abram ComicArts editorial director Charles Kochman, and author/actor John Leguizamo.
  • Also on Saturday Bryan Doerries and actors Paul Giamatti and David Strathairn will discuss psychological health issues in the military in “The Theater of War: What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today.”

Throughout the week, Miami itself will get its time to shine as various discussions and readings as various special guests present their unique perspective on the Gateway to the Americas. In Miami Through the Lens 1977-1982,” journalist Brett Sokol and photographer Charles Hashim will present and discuss “We Are Everywhere and We Shall Be Free”, a collection of photos of the Magic City from the late 1970s to the early 1980s.  The University of Miami Libraries Special Collections department will also provide a rare glimpse into the early history of Miami as they exhibit unique engravings, woodcuts, and illustrations from their collection in Iconic Miami.”


Smith’s memoir Just Kids won the National Book Award in 2010.

With so much to do and see at the 2015 Miami Book Fair, fans of literature from all walks of life are sure to find something to enjoy.  Be sure to check out some of the materials owned by UM Libraries from guest authors and artists that will be featured in the 2015 Miami Book Fair.  For more information, please visit miamibookfair.com.


Write in Our Midst : An Anthology of South Florida Writers / Selections from the 1992 program, Miami Book Fair International, edited by Michael Hettich

Voices of the Heart: Miami Book Fair International Presents a Literary Anthology / Selections from Participants in the Book Fair, edited by James Blake and JoAnna Falco

Just Kids by Patti Smith

The Theater of War: What Ancient Greek tragedies Can Teach Us Today by Bryan Doerries


with Paul Giamiatti


Man on the Moon

with David Strathairn

Eight Men Out

Good Night, and Good Luck

with John Leguizamo

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar

Moulin Rouge!

DVD Picks: Frank Sinatra

by Terri Robar, Learning & Research Services

One hundred years ago, on December 12, 1915, “Ol’ Blue Eyes” was born. Most people remember Frank Sinatra as a singer but he was also an actor and appeared in more than 60 films. Below is a selection of some of his best work on the big screen. And don’t forget to visit the Frank Sinatra Centennial Exhibit at the Weeks Music Library!

The following films are a part of Richter Library’s DVD collection. In addition to the thousands of DVDs spanning comedy, drama, sci-fi, horror, documentary, and other genres, UM Libraries also houses film-related materials such as screenplays, soundtracks, musical scores, and original book titles. Search the catalog to browse music and print resources related to these films.

Two lovesick sailors on shore leave in Hollywood fall hard for the same beautiful singer. The race for Susie’s heart leads them both into a series of comical and musical adventures.

The story of two baseball pros who moonlight as a song-and-dance team in the off-season. They both lose their hearts to the new female manager.

Dave Hirsch, a writer and army veteran, returns to 1948 Parkton, Indiana, his hometown. There he must come to terms with his roots and his future.

Three sailors have a 24-hour shore leave to enjoy New York. Chip tries but can’t resist the advances of a cab driver, Ozzie becomes the object of interest of a gorgeous anthropologist who thinks he’s the perfect example of a “prehistoric man,” and Gabey finds the model who poses for the Miss Turnstiles advertisements, who isn’t quite the glamorous celebrity he envisioned.

The film powerfully dramatizes Israel’s heroic 1947-48 struggle for independence. It centers on the legendary David “Mickey” Marcus, an American Jew and World War II hero, who got involved by becoming a volunteer military adviser to the new state of Israel and the country’s first general in 2,000 years. Against the wishes of his wife, Mickey begins transforming a ragtag underground army into a first-class fighting machine. But as the threat of war looms, Mickey must also confront his growing attraction to beautiful activist Magda Simon.

A society wedding is being arranged in Newport, Rhode Island. The beautiful Tracy Samantha Lord is to marry George Kittredge. However, Tracy’s ex-husband, the songwriter C. K. Dexter-Haven, has never stopped loving her and has hopes of winning her back. A New York scandal sheet reporter and photographer arrive to cover the wedding and complicate the tangled romances.

Drama about life in the Army in the days prior to World War II. Shows the effect of Army discipline on an individualistic former boxing champion who defies the attempts of officers and men to break him when he refuses to fight on the company’s boxing team.

Tony Manetta, a small-time Miami Beach hotel operator barely able to make the payments on his own modest inn, dreams of one day opening a million dollar resort. In addition to bill collectors, Tony must contend with his beatnik girlfriend and his well-meaning but conservative brother and sister-in-law. Through thick and thin, however, one thing remains constant: the love between Tony and his young son who admires him even if he isn’t a big shot.

A U.S. Army platoon, captured in the Korean conflict, is whisked to Manchuria for three nightmarish days of experimental drug-and-hypnosis-induced conditioning that transforms the men into human time bombs. Returned to the United States as war heroes, one of them is used by his mother to promote her Joseph McCarthy-like husband’s political career.

Frankie Machine is a skilled card dealer and one-time heroin addict. When he returns home from jail, he struggles to find a new livelihood and to avoid slipping back into addiction.

Tony Rome, a tough Miami PI living on a houseboat, is hired by a local millionaire to find jewelry stolen from his daughter, and in the process has several encounters with local hoods as well as the Miami Beach PD.

Detective Tony Rome discovers that everyone he talks to about a case winds up dead.

Now On View at Richter Library: Hometown Maps


Since 1997 students at the School of Architecture have commenced their program studies in architecture and urban design by researching, analyzing, and interpreting the distinctive characteristics of the places they are most familiar with—their own hometowns. A selection of hometown maps created by students over the course of nearly 20 years is now on view in Hometown Maps: Where in the World Do Architects Come From?, located on the first floor of the Richter Library.

Architecture student Lorena Knezevic's map of Torino, Italy, is one of the 2015 featured works in Hometown Maps.

Architecture student Lorena Knezevic’s map of Torino, Italy, is one of the 2015 featured works in Hometown Maps.

The exhibition includes works by six former and four current students representing various cities and towns in the United States and beyond. The maps are showcased next to an interactive digital map of the world that has been specially created by UML librarians and School of Architecture faculty as a way to view a range of students’ work by location and year, among other aspects.

“These maps engage the students’ awareness about urban planning and the development of towns through the lens of architectural, environmental, and historical features,” says Gilda Santana, who as head of UML’s Paul Buisson Architecture Library has been helping grow the Hometown Maps archive at UM Libraries Digital Collections. Currently it includes around 300 student-created maps dating back to 2004.

At the exhibition’s opening on October 6, Dean of the School of Architecture Rodolphe el-Khoury said the project is an important way of introducing students to the UM architecture program and its big-picture philosophy. “We think of architecture in an urban context and what it brings to the city rather than focusing solely on individual monuments,” he explained.

The maps are hand-drawn, a testament to the program’s continued recognition of traditional drawing skills, while students use a range of tools and resources to support accuracy in their graphic layouts. The UM Libraries Maps Collection has long been a popular resource, and several students this year consulted UML’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Lab to cull information about their hometowns such as elevation and street data.

With the archive in place, this work has the potential to inform and inspire architecture students down the road. “As each project is presented to the class, the studio learns more about the larger issues of architecture and the environment, geography, and culture, as well as something new about the perspective on place,” Santana says.

Visit Hometown Maps: Where in the World Do Architects Come From at the Otto G. Richter Library, on view through December 2015.

Library visitors can further explore the Hometown Maps archive through the exhibition’s interactive digital display.

Library visitors can further explore the Hometown Maps archive through the exhibition’s interactive digital display. Photo by Brittney Bomnin

Save the Date: Upcoming Events at UM Libraries


The University of Miami Libraries are hosting and co-presenting several events this fall and in the coming year. Please mark your calendars and join us for what promises to be a series of stimulating talks and presentations.

November 18, 2015 | GIS Day

Otto G. Richter Library
Members of the UM community and the public are invited to explore the many real-world applications of geographic information systems (GIS) at Richter Library on Wednesday, November 18, during UM¹s GIS Day, which will feature a keynote presentation by the graphics editor of The New York Times. Sponsored by the University of Miami Libraries and the Department of Geography, GIS Day also will include a series of workshops and panels that highlight some of the many ways GIS can enhance presentations and maximize the impact of research across the scholarly landscape. For more information and a complete schedule of GIS Day events, visit GIS Resources at UM Libraries <http://sp.library.miami.edu/subjects/gis>.

November 19, 2015 | Quince Sellos Cubanos Reception

6:30 p.m. | Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, Otto G. Richter Library
Join us for a reception and conversation with artist María Martínez-Cañas highlighting her exhibition, a portfolio of 15 gelatin silver prints now on view at the library along with the original Cuban stamps that inspired her work. Exploring themes of history, memory, and identity, the limited-edition series was donated to the Cuban Heritage Collection by Alan Gordich in 2014. The exhibition will remain on view through December 2015.

January 14, 2016 | Arva Moore Parks Presents George Merrick, Son of the South Wind

6:30 p.m. | Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, Otto G. Richter Library
As UM kicks off the 90th anniversary celebrations in 2016, Miami historian and University trustee Arva Moore Parks will present her latest book on Coral Gables’ founder and UM visionary George Merrick. Parks’ presentation at the library, co-sponsored by Books & Books, is in conjunction with the official opening of The Pan American University: The Original Spirit of the U Lives On, an exhibition of historical materials from the Libraries’ unique and distinctive collections reflecting the University’s enduring connection to Latin America and the Caribbean.


Featured events are free and open to the public. For more information or to RSVP, please contact richterevents@miami.edu or call 305-284-4026.

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A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away…


By Lauren Fralinger, Learning & Research Services

In 1977, there was nothing quite like it. A fantasy story with the scale of an epic history, the overtones of a war story told through old news reels and touches of a Western from its saloon brawls and quick-drawing characters.

Star Wars planet Alderaan. User: Yesuitus2001 / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

The opening lines of “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away,” put early audiences in mind of a fairy tale’s promise of “once upon a time”—and Star Wars indeed had all of these fairy tale elements as well.

Set in space and amid a series of exotic worlds and creatures, Star Wars tied together themes and characters that were familiar to audiences, but set in a strikingly complex, futuristic setting in a time when science fiction movies were not unheard of, but rare.

The story of the tyrannical Galactic Empire at war with the upstart Rebellion has not only continued to survive but also has evolved. The original is at the top of the list of highest grossing movies ever, and it has inspired a host other movies with similar characters, settings, themes, and ideas.


Star Wars: Kenobi by John Jackson Miller is one of the more recent literary spin-offs to the series.

The enormous success of the original Star Wars led to sequels continuing to chronicle the adventures of the Rebellion’s heroes as they overthrew the Empire and restored the Republic. Followed in 1980 by The Empire Strikes Back and 1983 by Return of the Jedi, the second and third movies seemed to complete the adventures of the original three heroes—Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo. Fans demanded more, and an expanded universe of books and graphic novels were released detailing the heroes’ further adventures in the galaxy far, far away.

After 1983, the juggernaut that was Star Wars slowed, but never stopped. Rumors of prequels percolated for years, sparked by the Episode V preceding the title of The Empire Strikes Back. In 1999, those rumors became reality, and a prequel trilogy made its way to theaters, telling the story of Darth Vader’s fall to the Dark Side.

Though the prequels were fraught with criticism, their release sparked off a renaissance in Star Wars, bringing in new fans and spurring the creation of new merchandise and stories, ensuring that another generation would grow up familiar with Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, lightsabers, and the Force.


Hot air balloon in Mexico built to resemble Star Wars’ infamous villain. Tomas Castelazo / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

That renaissance is still continuing. On December 16 of this year, Star Wars will once again hit theaters around the world. Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be the first of a new series of sequels, picking up after the end of the original trilogy. Though old heroes such as Luke, Leia, and Han will be returning, new heroes will be introduced, and the saga of Star Wars will continue to grow, thrive, and sweep us off to a galaxy far, far away. Until then, be sure to check out some of UM Libraries’ films and books based on the Star Wars franchise.


Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi



Non-Fiction Books

The Science of Star Wars: An Astrophysicist’s Independent Examination of Space Travel, Aliens, Planets, and Robots as Portrayed in the Star Wars Films and Books by Jeanne Cavelos

The Gospel According to Star Wars: Faith, Hope, and the Force by John McDowell

Finding the Force of the Star Wars Franchise: Fans, Merchandise, and Critics by Matthew Wilhelm Kapell and John Shelton Lawrence

Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination by Ed Rodley

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise by Chris Taylor



Fiction Books

Kenobi by John Jackson Miller

Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne

Star Wars: Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn

UM Libraries Celebrates Banned Books Week

by Lauren Fralinger


How often do you think about your right to read? It is often said that words can change the world, whether they’re spoken aloud or written down. The First Amendment recognizes the power of words, enshrining our freedom of speech. But what happens when that speech is challenged? When we’re told we can’t speak out, can’t read words that might challenge our thoughts or give us new ideas?

September 27–October 3 is Banned Books Week, a time of year designated to raise awareness of banned and challenged books, and an opportunity to understand the consequences of censorship.

Banned Books Week was founded in 1982 by Judith Krug in response to the sudden surge of challenged books. Krug, a First Amendment defender and library advocate, strongly opposed censorship. She felt that no one should be restricted from books or ideas, and that readers should have the freedom to develop their own opinions.

In the thirty-three years since Krug began her initiative, there have been more than 11,300 books challenged, according to the American Library Association (ALA). Just last year ALA reported 311 challenges, including John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing.

If a book is challenged, someone is trying to keep it from the hands of readers. ALA’s Office of Intellectual Property has reported the top three reasons for a challenge are: 1) the material was considered to be sexually explicit, 2) the material was considered to have offensive language, and 3) the material was considered unsuited for any age group.

Challenges by various groups have resulted in books commonly regarded today as classic literature being banned from libraries and schools across the United States: In 1957, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was banned from the Detroit Public Library for “having no value for children of today, supporting negativism, and bringing children’s minds to a cowardly level.”

Other classic works that have been banned include:

  • Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, on the grounds of profanity and racially charged language.
  • J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, described by detractors as a “filthy, filthy book.”
  • First edition copies of Allan Ginsberg’s Howl were seized by the San Francisco customs for obscenity in 1957; however, after a trial the obscenity charges were dropped.
  • John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath was temporarily banned in the in region of California in which it was originally set for “alleged unflattering portrayal of area residents.”
  • The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank, was once banned by an Alabama textbook committee, deeming it a “real downer.”

Banned Books Week at Richter

catcherBanned Books Week highlights these and many other influential works that have endured censorship, bringing together proponents of free speech, librarians, publishers, teachers, and book lovers of all genres.

Come join us for a week-long celebration of free speech and great literature. Look around Richter Library for books that have been challenged or banned, starting with a banned books exhibit on the first floor. Some of the titles may surprise you!