Book review: The Elephant and the Bee by Jess de Boer

This is the first book review in a series of six for the KU Big Read @ St George’s Library. Each of the six shortlisted KU Big Read titles will be featured in a weekly review, written by a member of the University and FHSCE community.


the elephant and the bee

A review of The Elephant and the Bee, written by Natalie Pither, a 2nd year Midwifery student

This is Jess de Boer’s first book. She was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, into a privileged Dutch family. She was inspired from an early age to want to bring about change in the world. Following university, she had a wide variety of jobs from chef to office administrator and even as a representative for Kenya in women’s triathlon.

In The Elephant and the Bee we follow Jess’s story, in her own words, covering her extensive travels as she searches for the dream job that will really make a positive impact in the world.

The style is informal and easy to read. Within the serious message that Jess wants to convey about man’s destruction of the planet, there are moments of utter hilarity. This juxtaposition is enthralling and leads the reader on page by page and chapter by chapter, always wondering how the title of the book will eventually fit into the content.

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An example from the book of an illustration and instruction

Each chapter is prefaced by a cartoon and an amusing instruction to herself about what must be achieved ‘today’. On the cover, at the end of each chapter and at the beginning and end of the book, the reader is enticed by the design of the trail of a bee to follow the story further, adding to the attraction of the book design. This certainly encourages the reader to pick the book up and read on.

During the narrative we meet Jess’s family and friends. They provide her with not only moral support but importantly an endless source of contacts offering job opportunities the world over. It is hard not to admire her gung-ho attitude each time she prepares for the first day in a new job, often with no prior experience.

I found Jess’s narration endearing and informative in equal measure and would highly recommend this book to others. I believe it would make an excellent choice for the Big Read as it is so accessible and manages to cover some really important environmental issues.*


*Since this review was written it has been announced that My Name is Leon is the Big Read winner, although we’re sure that our readers will enjoy all of the shortlisted books.


Join the discussion. Tell us what you thought of The Elephant and the Bee, or what your favourite Big Read shortlisted book is. Come by the library to borrow a copy.

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Library Supporting Mental Wellness Week

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We are supporting the SGSU Mental Wellness week by putting up a book collection that includes celebrity stories of mental illness, meditation CDs, Ten Minute Stress Relief, an anti-stress poetry anthology, and books about depression and OCD. Whether you want to find out more about mental illness, or get a book to help you relax and de-stress, come by the Library to check out the display.

We also have two curated collections you can browse online. Clicking on the book image inside the Wakelet will take you to information about the item’s availability in the Library.

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Mood-boosting books collection image

 

Book review: Writing Essays by Pictures a workbook by Alke Gröppel-Wegener

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Learning Advocate Grace Pike’s review of Writing Essays by Pictures

ksAlke Gröppel-Wegener aims to make essay-writing fun. The book helps students by using bright colours, metaphors, visual analogies, tasks that include making reusable resources and encouraging exploratory writing. She starts from the beginnings of writing an essay to the end process of using feedback from your tutor. Visual analogies are present in each chapter in order to explain step-by-step the processes of research and writing at university and are especially aimed at those students who have not attended university before and are beginners to academic research.

Strengths

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Example of a visual analogy explaining ‘The Assembly Approach’

This book starts from the very basics of writing essays by breaking the stages of essay writing down, and explains terms along the way. It also explains that you do not have to use the visual analogies; you can use the book more flexibly in your own way. For those who shy away from essay writing or get bored of self-help essay writing guides, this book uses bright text and pictures to keep readers interested. There are tips to keep students focussed on the task at hand and throughout the book these tips and ideas are referred back to. There are clear explanations of what primary and secondary research is which can be a problem for some students during school and transitioning to university. When starting university and throughout their studies, some students can be unsure of how to take effective notes and this book presents innovative tips on note-taking. Group and reflective study is encouraged and this may be good for tutors as a teaching resource. There is also a link to additional tips and tricks on WordPress.

Weaknesses

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Orange and purple text and illustration.

Having shown the book to several academics and then reading the book, we all found the colour scheme and font colour to be lurid and difficult to read. Those who are not starting university and have written essays before may find this to be a patronising book as it is very basic. The visual analogies and metaphors are stretched and sometimes the images can break the text up too much and can be irrelevant.

In my own experience I have found that a scientific essay structure can vary from course to course and year to year so it may not always be suitable to use all the tips from this book. Having read the book in an hour it does make me wonder whether a student writing an essay would have time to do all the tasks along with the essay to make the whole experience effective. One particular chapter has a “sources address book or casefile” to write in for all the sources you might want to use in your bibliography or reference list. This may not be relevant to students at St George’s, as many students now use their devices to take notes and keep a track of sources. Some essay tips are ideas that should have been covered in school or college at GCSE level.

Conclusion

The content of the book may be useful for students who are unfamiliar with essay writing, and it may work as a refresher  as it covers all the essentials. The use of visual analogies, and hands on tasks may appeal to some students. However, it can be visually hard to read due to the colour choice. Students who are familiar with essays, and tutors may find it is aimed at too low a level to be useful.

Review by Grace Pike T year


Writing Essays by Pictures by Groppel-Wegener, Alke  is available in the library collection.
Call number: PE1471 GRO

Help with writing and structuring is available from Rosie MacLachlan in Academic Skills Centre or Marcy Kahan, Royal Literary Fund Fellow. More information on Study+ in Moodle (SGUL login required).

Review: Brilliant Writing Tips for Students

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Learning Advocates Rashmi Saincher and Ele Clancey have written positive reviews of Brilliant Writing Tips for Students by Julia Copus, a new book in the library collection.

Review by Rashmi Saincher

The first thing that attracts me to this book is its size: it’s small and light which fits perfectly into any bag and even a large coat pocket, making it easy to carry around. Each section is based on different aspects of grammar, such as semicolons and paragraph structure. Each section includes a clear explanation regarding the grammar rule, and a short example. The book also contains tables and cartoons which help with the content organisation.

My favourite part of this book are the examples of phrases that can be used in essays (found at the end of the book), as they can help you express yourself more intellectually when writing formal work. I highly recommend this book to students who are writing their SSCs, reports, any formal writing pieces, or students who would like a quick revision on basic English grammar.It is an easy read, and relatively quick to get through. Brilliant Writing Tips for Students is available at the library, and you can take it out for three weeks, which is another bonus.

Review by Ele Clancey

This is a great book if you, like me, have ever struggled with making sense in writing. I found essay writing very difficult during my undergraduate degree, and I would always get feedback from lecturers about my grammar and style. As a result, I spent time trawling through websites to learn a lot of the content covered in this neat pocket guide.

This book covers common areas of grammar and punctuation that people struggle with, including semicolons, sentence structure and paragraphs. What is good about this guide is that it is very clearly written and each concept is explained succinctly. The guide also covers handy techniques to help writers proof read their writing and spot mistakes.

Unlike other books on writing for students, this one doesn’t offer advice about essay writing specifically. This guide is more about getting the basics of writing correct. It is also heavily grammar and style focused, so you would need to read something else for tips on academic writing, planning and how to start writing. Overall, I think this book is most useful for people who struggle to be clear and concise in writing, and to provide helpful grammar tips.


Brilliant Writing Tips for Students by Julia Copus is available in the library collection.
Call number: PE1408 COP

Help with writing and structuring is available from Rosie MacLachlan in Academic Skills Centre or Marcy Kahan, Royal Literary Fund Fellow. More information on Study+ in Moodle (SGUL login required).

Milk Matters by Maureen Minchin donated to St George’s Library

On the 13th June 2016, Maureen Minchin, medical historian, health educator, and author of Breastfeeding matters: what we need to know about infant feeding, spoke at St George’s to  dieticians, health visitors, public health, GPs, researchers, IBCLCs (International Board Certified Lactation Consultants), midwives about the science and history of infant feeding. The room was packed and people were enthralled with her delivery of research and evidence showing the inter-generational impact of infant feeding practices. She spoke of the necessity of breast milk for normal human development and how breast milk is the bridge from womb to world. Maureen and the GP infant feeding network (GPIFN) kindly donated a signed copy of her latest book  Milk Matters: infant feeding and immune disorder to St George’s Library.

The two books are available in the Library catalogue, follow the above links to check for availability. Books on breastfeeding are available at call number (shelf mark WS125 in the Library.)

 

System upgrade – impact on service

From 5pm on Tuesday 5 July to 12pm on Wednesday 6 July, services in the Library will be reduced whilst we carry out an essential upgrade.
 
During the upgrade the following services will be unavailable:
  • library catalogue (which includes searching for books, checking your record, and inter-library loan requests)
  • book renewals
  •  self-service machines
  • payment of fines
We apologise for any inconvenience that this reduction in service may cause.
 
You may find the following questions and answers useful:
 
Can I borrow books during this period?
You will be able to borrow books at the Helpdesk during the staffed hours of 5-6pm (Tuesday) and 8am-12pm (Wednesday) only.
 
Can I return books during this period?
Books can be returned through the book return slot beside the disabled toilet outside the Library.
 
Will fines be charged?
No fines will be applied to your account on these two days.
 
How will I find a book on the shelf?
You will be able to search for books using Hunter, but this will only show the location, e.g. WH100 MOO. You will need to check the shelves for availability.

 

Library ♥ Nursing

Continuing the Library’s new series of monthly promotions – Library Loves – this May we are taking a closer look at our Nursing Resources – in particular those that will support our Nurses and Midwives through revalidation.

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Content:
Key Websites
Books
Journals
Apps
Other Key Resources
Further information

From April 2016, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) now requires that nurses and midwives undertake a process of revalidation every 3 years to maintain their registration with the NMC. This process has been introduced to encourage a sharing and reflective culture, to promote good practice and raise awareness of the professional standards expected of nurses and midwives and to strengthen public confidence in these professions.

We’ve put together this brief guide to essential revalidation information resources, including those available through St George’s Library, to support you through the revalidation process. Many of the resources will also be helpful to students or other healthcare professionals who are looking to develop their reflective writing skills, or those about to qualify who are looking to get a head start.

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Key Websites:

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC): Revalidation
http://revalidation.nmc.org.uk/
The NMC microsite covers all the essential information and guidance to the Revalidation process. You can find out more about the requirements, download the NMC guidance booklet, forms and templates and learn from fellow professionals who have already been through the revalidation process.

Royal College of Nursing (RCN): Revalidation
https://www.rcn.org.uk/professional-development/revalidation
The RCN has professional development pages dedicated to the revalidation process, including guidance on the requirements, case studies of a variety of professionals and advice on developing and keeping a portfolio of evidence.

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Books available from St George’s Library

We have a great collection of texts to support you in your professional development and reflective practice. We’ve picked a handful of these below, but don’t forget you can also search Hunter for further inspiration and similar titles.

Click on the images below to view the catalogue record for the book, where you’ll be able to check and see if there is a copy available on the shelves. If the title is available as an eBook, follow the links beneath the image to view them online.

Access Instructions:

If you are using a library computer or laptop, you should click the onsite link to view the book (there’s no login required).

If you are offsite:

  • SGUL students/staff should click the SGUL offsite link and log in with their SGUL username and password.
  • NHS staff should use the NHS offsite link and log in with their OpenAthens login details. If you don’t have an OpenAthens login, you can self-register here: http://openathens.nice.org.uk/

reflective practice in nursing     51zRsx8aTtL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_
Click here for onsite access                   Click here for onsite access
Offsite : SGUL users log in here            Offsite : SGUL users log in here
Offsite : NHS users log in here              Offsite : NHS users log in here

mentoringlearning     becoming
Click here for onsite access                      Click here for onsite access
Offsite : SGUL users log in here               Offsite : SGUL users log in here
Offsite : NHS users log in here                 Offsite : NHS users log in here

http://unicorn.sgul.ac.uk/uhtbin/cgisirsi/x/0/0/57/5/3?searchdata1=116682{CKEY}&searchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^&user_id=WEBSERVER     continuing

writingyournursing     lawethicsnursing

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Journals

You might also be interested in keeping up-to-date with more recent discussion on Revalidation.

Take a look at some of the Hunter searches below to see some of the most recent articles for the following topics:

To access full-text articles in these searches offsite, please be aware you’ll need to login with your SGUL login details. NHS staff are only able to view these using a Library computer. If you are an NHS user and would like a login for the Library PCs, please see a member of staff at the Library helpdesk.

NHS users have access to thousands of electronic journals via their OpenAthens login; you can browse the titles by visiting the A-Z list hosted by NICE. Make sure you have logged in before searching to ensure you see the full content you have access to.

Some key titles we recommend keeping up-to-date with include:

Nursing Standard
Nursing Management
British Journal of Nursing
British Journal of Midwifery

These are all available via the University and the NHS OpenAthens routes.

If you don’t have the time to search online and would rather browse a journal/magazine by hand you can always check out our limited print collection of journals. These are held in the silent study section of the Library and a selection are on display next to the Research Enquiries Desk. Our nursing print journals include:

Nursing Standard
Nursing Times
Pediatric Nursing
Nursing Management
Midwives

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Apps

St George’s Library regularly explores and reviews mobile applications and resources that our users may find useful. A few that you may be interested in are:

Shift Calendar Apps –  time management apps to help those with shift based roles keep track of their complex work schedules.

Forest: Stay Focused  –  An app to help you keep focused on your task if you are easily distracted
Dynamed Plus – A Point of Care resource app – full content available to St George’s  NHS staff.
NICE BNF and BNFc – available with an NHS OpenAthens

Baby Buddy – An app for expectant and new mothers, and healthcare workers assisting them.

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Other Key Resources

Nursing and Midwifery Council (2015) The Code: professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses, London: NMC.
View The Code: professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses – PDF

Royal College of Nursing (2015) NMC revalidation: next steps: an update from the RCN on NMC revalidation, plus frequently asked questions, London: RCN.
View  RCN document on NMC revalidation – website

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Further information:

For help in viewing or downloading eBooks or online journals, pop along to the Research Enquiries Desk in the Quiet Study Area of the Library, Mon-Fri 11am-4pm.

If you are an NHS user and are having problems with your OpenAthens account, please contact your OpenAthens administrator:
Beth Jackson
eljackso@sgul.ac.uk
020 8725 5433

We’ll be hosting another Pop-Up Library where we’ll be happy to help with your enquiries about any of the Library’s services and resources:

Tuesday 24th May – 12-2pm outside Ingredients restaurant, 1st floor Lanesborough Wing.

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St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will be celebrating International Nurses Day on 12 May, between 13:00-17:00 in the Hyde Park room, and handing out awards for nurses who have made an outstanding contribution to patient care.

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