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Chaparral 2016-2017: 25.3 What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading: A GCC Roundup!
Chaparral’s new roundup column, written by … you!

Editor's Note

Chaparral is publishing short blurbs about whatever GCC employees might be reading right now. Each respondent answered three short questions:

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?


Orhan's Inheritance

I am reading Orhan's Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian.  
Set against the backdrop of the Armenian Genocide, this story is filled with love, anguish, history, betrayal and murder. It gives a voice to all the victims that suffered during the genocide, both directly and indirectly. I would certainly recommend this novel to everyone, as it speaks to the humanity within all of us. Orhan's Inheritance has been chosen as GCC's One Book text for 2016-2017, and Ohanesian will speak at our college on April 13 at 12:30 p.m.

Lara Kartalian


The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (shortened version of the official summary on the cover of the book):
In this book, the Underground Railroad is not a metaphor, but an actual railroad that operates underground with real conductors and trains. This book is the story of Cora, a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia who escapes her life of hell via the railroad and at each stop she encounters different worlds (like the protagonist of Gulliver's Travels). Hers is an odyssey through time and space. 
The Underground Railroad 
is a kinetic adventure tale of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share. It is a narrative that seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promise of the present day.

Fatema Baldiwala

Swing Time

I am reading Zadie Smith's Swing Time which explores the inner life of a young biracial woman growing up in Northwest London.   Smith explores her attraction to charismatic figures from her childhood friend to her work as an assistant to a famous pop star.  She ponders her insecurities in both childhood and young adult life.  While this book delves into ideas about race, family and friendship, it is perhaps not as compelling as Zadie Smith's earlier novel, On Beauty.

Good Reads
Caryn Panec
Parent Education

On Writing

On Writing by Charles Bukowski. I would recommend anything by Bukowski although I have only just started reading this book.

Glenn S Gardner

Never Fade Away

I am reading Never Fade Away by William Hart.  Written in 2002, this novel tells a story through the eyes of a college developmental writing professor who is also a Vietnam war veteran.  At the same time, we hear the story of one of his students, a asian girl, a refugee from the war, who is struggling with passing her English requirements.  We go back and forth between the two narratives.  The professor struggles with alarming flashbacks from the war while also fighting a hostile college administration. Fascinating reading...thankfully not like the way it is at GCC.

Dennis Doyle

Daisy in Exile

I'm reading Daisy in Exile, by J. T. Allen.  Actually, I am J. T. Allen, Instructor of English at GCC and I was proof reading and checking the formatting because it is my book and was just published on Amazon.  It is the second book about Daisy Tannenbaum.  

J. T. Allen

The Vegetarian

The Vegetarian by Korean author Han Kang is a fascinating novel about a woman who refuses to eat meat and the efforts of her family to force it on her. Told in three sections, each from the point of view of a different family member.

Ralph Tropf, MFA

A Man Called Ove

1.A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman
2. Better than the movie.
3. A rather unlikable character becomes the hero. The writing is lovely.

Emily Bergman


The Power of Now

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Definitely recommend it to everyone!
Even though the book isn't new, it applies to everything we are doing in the present moment. It teaches us how to fully embrace each moment we are experiencing/living, rather than worrying about past events or being anxious about what has not yet happened.  Oftentimes, when I need reminders, I go back to this book. It has centered me in the last few years, while I was going through major life changes.

Lisa Hermatz Chahayed
Language Arts, ASL

The 36-Hour Day

The 36-Hour Day by Nancy L. Mace M.A. and Peter V. Rabins M.D., M.P H.

Although in its 4th edition, it is a great resource for caregivers and families who care for elderly people with dementia, Alzheimer’s or memory loss.

Very informative and helpful for coping with the issues involved.

Nicole Hise
Human Resources

The King and Queen of Malibu: The True Story of the Battle for Paradise

  1. The King and Queen of Malibu: The True Story of the Battle for Paradise (2016) by David K. Randall
  2. Yes, it’s a very interesting book about a family with historical connections to Los Angeles and Malibu.
  3. My husband and I visited the Adamson House last August, because of a lecture we’d been to about tile in Southern California, and learned then of the Rindge family and their history in Malibu. (GCC connection: the day we visited the Adamson House, we ran into Elodia Collins there.)

Brenda Jones


The King and Queen of Malibu
by David K. Randall

Fascinating story of Frederick and May Rindge that reads like a novel. Who knew that the area that is now Malibu was wrested from their private hold? Some today may recall a dairy called Adohr Farms, which is connected to the Adamson House that the public can view today and gaze at vast expanses of beautiful Malibu tile. This all links to the Rindge family. Book is also available in audio, which is a great recommendation for our Freeway Flyers.

Marcia Hanford
Continuing Education

Sanctus and Pussy: A Reclamation


Sanctus by Simon Toyne. First of a trilogy. 

Set in a Turkish monastery.  Priest kills himself and then the fun begins. Enjoyable read. Bestseller. Now on the second book of the trilogy, The Key.

Snow Island by Katherine Towler. On Snow Island, a remote community off the New England coast, sixteen-year-old Alice Daggett struggles to come to terms with her father's death while managing the family store. If you love New England or are a transported New Englander, you will love the trip “back home.”  I grew up on a small island off the New England coast and this book felt like home.


Pussy: A Reclamation by Regina Thomashauer.  New York Times Bestseller.  This is an incredible time to be reading a book entitled Pussy.  The New York Times says, “It (pussy) just may be the most pejorative word in the English language. It’s the ultimate salacious smack to dignity, used to hurt, humiliate, and dehumanize. No one calls you a “pussy” when they want to tell you how radiant you look, how capably you work, or what an inspiring life you lead.”  Thomasauer’s book covers everything from the origin of the word to anecdotal, instructive and just flat out eye opening perceptions and revelations.  It is a courageous work by a woman who believes that Women are the greatest untapped resource in the world. FYI the Dalai Lama agrees. He has said “The world will be saved by the Western woman.” A must read regardless of your gender.

Mary Elizabeth Barrett
Student Services

Make Just One Change and Making Thinking Visible

  1. Make Just One Change by Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana 
    Publisher: Harvard Education Press Cambridge, Massachusetts 2015
    I would recommend this book to teachers who want to help students ask more in order to learn more. This book helps the readers to expand their mind and sharpen their skill of asking questions and seeking answers. It is a wonderful resource both for teachers and students. 
  2. Making Thinking Visible by Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church, Karin Morrison
    Publisher: Jossey-Bass 2011
    I would recommend this book to teachers who believe that students learn better when they are offered challenging and interesting thinking opportunities.This is a wonderful resource because it teaches us the pivot of thinking, analyzing, and exploring. 

These two books complete each other very well. There is no thinking without questions. There are no questions without thinking.

Arusyak Sargsyan
Noncredit ESL

The King and Queen of Malibu

The King and Queen of Malibu by David K. Randall

Fascinating story of Frederick and May Rindge that reads like a novel. Who knew that the area that is now Malibu was wrested from their private hold? Some today may recall a dairy called Adohr Farms, which is connected to the Adamson House that the public can view today and gaze at vast expanses of beautiful Malibu tile. This all links to the Rindge family. Book is also available in audio, which is a great recommendation for our Freeway Flyers.

Marcia Hanford
Continuing Education

Winter Break reading

I spent a great deal of my Winter Break reading!  Some of it was an easy read and others of it was hard.

Alligator Candy by David Kushner
A man's dealing with the murder of his brother while they both were children from an adult viewpoint.

The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder  Edited by William Anderson.
This is for all of you Little House on the Prairie fans.  The book will give you some interesting insights into a Beloved American Writer.  Believe me, not all of the insights are particularly positive.

Floodpath  by Jon Wilkman
This is a recent work on the Bloomsbury Press on the San Francisquito Dam Break.  If you are into Southern California History and/or Geology and Geography, this is a great book on one of the Twentieth Century's great disasters.

Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes  A New Translation by Edith Grossman.
I read this because I hadn't read it in a long time.  The footnotes and the translator's notes were very, very interesting.  What was amazing to me was how little people have changed 600 years!

Brian Reff
Hospitality & Tourism


I finished reading Transatlantic by Colum McCann in which he deftly weaves a tress of travelers to and from the United States and Ireland. I especially enjoyed reading about Frederick Douglass, being one of the historic figures, and the four women toward the end of the novel, some of which were fictional figures.
My sailing interests have me currently reading Diary of a Sea Captain's Wife written by Margaret Eaton about her marriage to Ira Eaton, one of the first sailors to begin chartering folks to the Santa Cruz Islands in the early 1900s.

Theresa Lorch

Chaparral March 2017

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