July 21, 2023 marked the release of two highly anticipated blockbuster films, Barbie and Oppenheimer, in the United States and several other countries. Despite the films’ stark differences in themes and content, the shared premiere date was preceded by months of excitement for both films online. As a result, many fans flocked to the theaters to watch both movies in a double feature during the opening weekend and solidified ‘Barbenheimer’ as the “the biggest box office weekend of 2023 so far.”
Other Barbie picks explore Mattel’s iconic creation and her impact on American society. We also pull in feminist texts from our collections, both foundational and contemporary. Among our selections for Oppenheimer are books about the scientists who worked on the atomic bomb and the communities devastated by it in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Team Barbie, Oppenheimer, or ‘Barbenheimer’? Let us know in the comments!
Reviving Ophelia is a call to arms from Dr. Mary Pipher, a psychologist who has worked with teenagers for more than a decade. She finds that in spite of the women’s movement, which has empowered adult women in some ways, teenage girls today are having a harder time than ever before because of higher levels of violence and sexism. It is critical that we understand the circumstances and take measures to correct them. We need to make that precious age of experimentation safe for adolescent girls.
To some she’s a collectible, to others she’s trash. In The Barbie Chronicles, twenty-three writers join together to scrutinize Barbie’s forty years of hateful, lovely, disastrous, glorious influence on us all. No other tiny shoulders have ever had to carry the weight of such affection and derision and no other book has ever paid this notorious little place of plastic her due. Whether you adore her or abhor her, The Barbie Chronicles will have you looking at her in ways you never imagined.
She’s skinny, white, and blond. She’s Barbie—an icon of femininity to generations of American girls. She’s also multiethnic and straight—or so says Mattel, Barbie’s manufacturer. Illustrated with photographs of various interpretations and alterations of Barbie, this book encompasses both Barbie glorification and abjection as it testifies to the irrefutably compelling qualities of this bestselling toy. Anyone who has played with Barbie—or, more importantly, thought or worried about playing with Barbie—will find this book fascinating.
In Barbie Chang, Victoria Chang explores racial prejudice, sexual privilege, and the disillusionment of love through a reimagining of Barbie―perfect in the cultural imagination yet repeatedly falling short as she pursues the American dream. This energetic string of linked poems is full of wordplay, humor, and biting social commentary involving the quote-unquote speaker, Barbie Chang, a disillusioned Asian-American suburbanite. By turns woeful and passionate, playful and incisive, these poems reveal a voice insisting that “even silence is not silent.”
An unabridged version of Beauvoir’s feminist exploration of the psychological, sexual and social roles of women and their historical and contemporary situation in Western culture at the middle of the twentieth century.
In The Will to Change, bell hooks gets to the heart of the matter and shows men how to express the emotions that are a fundamental part of who they are—whatever their age, marital status, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Toxic masculinity punishes those fundamental emotions, and it’s so deeply ingrained in our society that it’s hard for men to not comply—but hooks wants to help change that. With trademark candor and fierce intelligence, hooks addresses the most common concerns of men, such as fear of intimacy and loss of their patriarchal place in society, in new and challenging ways.
In this magisterial, acclaimed biography twenty-five years in the making, Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin capture Oppenheimer’s life and times, from his early career to his central role in the Cold War. This is biography and history at its finest, riveting and deeply informative.
This striking work of narrative nonfiction tells the true story of six-year-old Sachiko Yasui’s survival of the Nagasaki atomic bomb on August 9, 1945, and the heartbreaking and lifelong aftermath. Having conducted extensive interviews with Sachiko Yasui, Caren Stelson chronicles Sachiko’s trauma and loss as well as her long journey to find peace. This book offers readers a remarkable new perspective on the final moments of World War II and their aftermath.
The story of the twentieth century is largely the story of the power of science and technology. Within that story is the incredible tale of the human conflict between Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller – the scientists most responsible for the advent of weapons of mass destruction. Gregg Herken gives us the behind-the-scenes account based upon a decade of research, interviews, and newly released Freedom of Information Act and Russian documents.
This is the story of Edith Warner, who lived for more than twenty years as a neighbor to the Indians of San Ildefonso Pueblo, near Los Alamos, New Mexico. She was a remarkable woman, a friend to everyone who knew her, from her Indian companion Tilano, who was an elder of San Ildefonso, to Niels Bohr, Robert Oppenheimer, and the other atomic scientists who worked at Los Alamos during World War II.
A non-technical narrative of the actual making of the first Atom bomb with an accent on the personal cases of the participants and the industrial companies that built it. Rich in human stories and anecdotes.
Black Rain is centered around the story of a young woman who was caught in the radioactive “black rain” that fell after the bombing of Hiroshima. lbuse bases his tale on real-life diaries and interviews with victims of the holocaust; the result is a book that is free from sentimentality yet manages to reveal the magnitude of the human suffering caused by the atom bomb. His sensitivity to the complex web of emotions in a traditional community torn asunder by this historical event has made Black Rain one of the most acclaimed treatments of the Hiroshima story.
Book images and summaries via Amazon.
This post was created by Alaina Faulkner, Student Engagement Associate at FSU Libraries.
June is LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, a yearly celebration that honors lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) individuals and communities around the world. Observed every June in the U.S. to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969, Pride Month first began as a celebration of “Gay Pride Day.” Since then, it has evolved to span an entire month filled with global events, parades, concerts, and other community celebrations. If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Pride Month, check out this page from the Library of Congress!
FSU Libraries are celebrating Pride this June by highlighting resources centered around LGBTQIA+ stories, experiences, and histories. All of the books, movies, and videos below are freely available to the FSU community. Other support and resources are also listed at the end of this post. Let’s celebrate Pride while taking care of ourselves and one another!
LGBTQ advice columnist John Paul Brammer writes a “wise and charming” (David Sedaris) memoir-in-essays chronicling his journey from a queer, mixed-race kid in America’s heartland to becoming the “Chicano Carrie Bradshaw” of his generation.
Five years after a suspicious fire killed his ornithologist mother, a closeted Syrian American trans boy sheds his birth name and searches for a new one. Following his mother’s ghost, he uncovers the silences kept in the name of survival by his own community, his own family, and within himself, and discovers the family that was there all along. This book is a timely exploration of how we all search for and ultimately embrace who we are.
Yaichi is a work-at-home dad in Tokyo; formerly married to Natsuki, and father to their young daughter, Kana. Their lives suddenly change with the arrival of a Canadian named Mike Flanagan, who declares himself to be the widower of Yaichi’s estranged gay twin, Ryoji. What follows is an unprecedented and heartbreaking look at the state of a largely still-closeted Japanese gay culture: how it’s been affected by the West, and how the next generation can change the preconceptions about it and prejudices against it.
Postcolonial Love Poem is an anthem of desire against erasure. Natalie Diaz’s second collection unravels notions of American goodness and creates something more powerful than hope―in it, a future is built, future being a matrix of the choices we make now, and in these poems, Diaz chooses love.
How We Fight for Our Lives is a stunning coming-of-age memoir about a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears. Through a series of vignettes that chart a course across the American landscape, Jones draws readers into his boyhood and adolescence. Each piece builds into a larger examination of race and queerness, power and vulnerability, love and grief: a portrait of what we all do for one another—and to one another—as we fight to become ourselves.
When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of the house and forced to move in with their older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas. Struggling with an anxiety disorder, Ben’s attempts to keep a low profile in a new school during their senior year are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, takes Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life. I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.
A “provocative and seductive debut” of desire and doubleness that follows the life of a young Palestinian American woman caught between cultural, religious, and sexual identities as she endeavors to lead an authentic life (O, The Oprah Magazine).
Transgender activist and TED Resident Samy Nour Younes shares the remarkable, centuries-old history of the trans community, filled with courageous stories, inspiring triumphs — and a fight for civil rights that’s been raging for a long time. “Imagine how the conversation would shift if we acknowledge just how long trans people have been demanding equality,” he says.
You’ve made it through another school year, congrats! Take time this summer to unwind and enjoy some mindless entertainment. This display features books that made it to the big screens. Take a look at some of the shows and movies that were created from the book and are now available on popular streaming services!