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Chaparral 2022-2023: 31.6 What Are You Reading?

GCC roundup column written by you!

  1. What are you reading (name and author and/or link if it’s on the web)?

  2. Would you recommend it?

  3. What do you like or find interesting about it?


How Should a Person Be?

I am reading the most amazing book, How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti. Part autofiction, part philosophy treatise, this book takes us to strange places of the heart and mind. Many uncomfortable situations speak to our human condition. Writers looking for permission to break with traditional narrative tropes, this unusual book is a must-read. 

Deirdre Mendoza

The Once and Future King

The Once and Future King by T.H. White

Would you recommend it? Definitely.

My knowledge of the Arthurian legends is comprised of Disney’s The Sword in the Stone, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and maybe the Le Morte d'Arthur (in college?). The Once and Future King is fantastic and not at all what I expected. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, heartwarming, and sad. Arthur’s philosophical conversations with Merlyn about life still resonate today, and there are a ton of great quotes including my favorite from Merlyn: “The best thing for being sad is to learn something.” So true.

Andy Stires
Learning Center


CarsickI'm reading Carsick (2015) by John Waters, the celebrated Pope of Trash, about the people he meets hitchhiking across the US. A highlight is when he runs into an old friend who is now running a "second-hand convenience store" selling half-used bottles of shampoos and expired medicine. And there's so much more! In Waters' words, most of us are normal people who think we are weird, but he's interested in the weird people who think they are normal, and this book is full of them! It lives up to it's claim to be "a celebration of America's weird, astonishing, and generous citizenry".

Becka Cooling

The Medical medium and the True Believer

Screenshot of Article from Vanity Fair May 2023 Issue

I read an interesting article called “The Medical medium and the True Believer” in Vanity Fair that I found very pertinent to current discussions and concerns around media literacy and in particular health literacy and the growing distrust in public health, medicine, and science. I address this topic a lot in my health and fitness trainer classes, because the fitness and wellness industries are such prime areas for charlatans to take advantage of desperate people, and even those who are "wellness-minded" can fall easily for misinformation. This particular story highlights how an individual can create a cult-like following by espousing theories that are anti-science, and promote spiritual practices or often nutritional therapies to optimize health or even cure diseases. When celebrities buy-in (or at least dabble for "fun") in these treatments or therapies, it elevates this individual in the public eye to be considered a wellness "expert"... regardless of their actual education, experience or expertise. Perhaps mildly they might not be doing harm to healthy folks – just encouraging them to eat more vegetables or manage their stress, but in many cases people seek them out for chronic pain, complex conditions, or issues for which they feel traditional medicine hasn't been helpful. This can lead to folks forgoing seeing their doctor or pursuing medical treatments that could actually save their lives. 

Erin Calderone

a first time for everything

a first time for everythingI read local writer/illustrator Dan Santat's new middle grade graphic memoir titled A First Time for Everything. The book follows young Dan as he goes on a three-week study abroad trip to Europe the summer before high school. It is an experience that provides a lot of firsts—his first time traveling alone, first time trying Fanta, and first love, just to name a few. Dan faces a lot of obstacles and awkward teenage moments and finds the confidence within himself to overcome them. It's a great read for young teens and fans of graphic novels of any age.

Margaret Lopez

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