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Chaparral 2019-2020: 28.5 What Are You Reading? Part I

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?

A Gentleman in Moscow

undefi5nedIt’s perfect because it's an account of a Russian poet who is sentenced to lifelong confinement in Moscow's greatest hotel: A Gentleman in Moscow. Charming. One of those books you finish, sigh, and say to yourself, “I'm really going to miss these people.”

Mike Falcon


The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse

undefinedI particularly enjoy children's books, and wrote one of my own (Natalie Goes to the Museum) that I published late last August. During some research, I came across a title by Charlie Mackesy, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse. The abstract touched me and I purchased a copy on Amazon. I cannot recommend this book enough – for anyone, no matter their age. The book’s underlying themes include self-care, friendship, compassion, and, most importantly, love. The illustrations are resplendent. Mackesy’s beautiful book – a gift to humanity – moved me to tears and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Reut Cohen Schorr


Lots of Books!


Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
Highly recommended! Especially the chapter on how languages developed. Diamond's tour of world civilization is breezy but also rich in detail 

All the Names by Jose Saramago 
Recommended! This one has been on my shelf for year and I don't know how I managed to overlook it. Shades of Kafka and Borges. A touch of Orwell, too. 

Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche 
A very different book than what I remembered from when I was gothy, gawky teen. Bat-scat crazy, poetic, and profound all in equal measure. 

Krishnamurti: The Years of Awakening by Mary Lutyens 
A sober biography written in straight-forward language of the boy who was groomed to be the messiah before renouncing the whole project. 

The Experience of Philosophy edited by Kolak and Martin
Hand's down, the best collection of articles and essays on various topics in philosophy I've come across. It's one of the few textbooks from my undergrad years that I actually kept! The range of thinkers is stunning. From Plato, Locke and Descartes, to Paul Davies, Daniel Dennet, and Milan Kundera and everywhere in between. This is philosophy as pleasure! 
David Fulton


Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor

undefinedMe and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad

Recommended? Yes! Absolutely. It's an important read for us allies! 

It's focused on helping people who are not of color to uncover their unconscious bias and be really, truly honest with themselves. It asks its readers to be brave, open, and unwavering in their commitment to be a "good ancestor". This is, truly, the only way we are going to start to approach the issue of white privilege and institutionalized racism. I love this book – and highly recommend! 

Anne-Marie Beck
CalWORKs & Career Education

The Cost of Living

undefinedThe Cost of Living by Deborah Levy
I highly recommend it! This series of autobiographical essays is about Levy's life after a series of career successes followed by a divorce and other challenges. Beautifully written, Levy weaves a study of life's mundane details with the profound.

Deborah Diehl
Media Arts


Believe Me

I'm reading JP Delaney’s Believe Me—a psychological thriller with twists and turns that keeps you guessing until the very end!

If you like authors who keep you guessing as to who dun'it you'll appreciate this book (And if you like this one, you’ll appreciate his other popular book, The Girl Before.)

undefined Here's Review An Amazon Best Book of July 2018: There were times while reading JP Delaney’s Believe Me where I asked myself, what the hell is going on?! Not out of frustration, but rather out of admiration for Delaney’s ability to keep me guessing. The novel centers around a murder, a struggling actress, and the dark nature of Baudelaire’s poetry. And if you think you know unreliable narrators, just wait until you meet the actress Claire. The trope is familiar: a woman is brutally killed in a hotel room; is her husband the killer? Claire finds herself playing a part in this all-too-real drama in order to rid herself of suspicion and to help catch what now appears to be a serial killer. But is she really acting? Is she crazy? Is she the killer? The story winds this way and that, and my allegiance to Claire followed suit, until Delaney’s over-the-top ending arrived. For some, the final acts of Believe Me may push their limits for suspending disbelief. But for me, the events leading up to the final act were so dramatic that a flamboyant conclusion was the only way out. —Seira Wilson, Amazon Book Review

“A compelling read . . . redefines the concept of an unreliable narrator . . . [a] rich, nuanced, highly literary take on the Gone Girl theme.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Fast-paced . . . A solid pick from bestselling author [JP] Delaney for readers who enjoyed the paranoia factor in A.J. Finn’s The Woman in the Window or the unreliable narrator of Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train. The domestic thriller trend is showing no signs of slowing. Buy accordingly.”—Library Journal
“A dark and haunting thriller . . . A superb evocation of conflicted emotions, this never lets you guess what’s coming next.”—Daily Mail

“The author produces a bobsled run’s worth of twists.”—Publishers Weekly
“I so enjoyed it—what a twisty, exciting read.”—Sabine Durrant, author of Lie With Me

Rosemarie Shamieh

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