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Chaparral 2017-2018: 26.5 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?


Call of the Wild

What are you reading? Call of the Wild by Jack London

Would you recommend it? Yes, definitely.

What do you like or find interesting about it? It is an example of consummate storytelling and one of the top 100 English language novels of all time.

Martin James
Theater Arts

Generation Z Leads

Just started reading Generation Z Leads by Corey Seemiller and Meghan Grace. It’s about how to get Generation Z youth involved in leadership development and service. Some of the old ways of doing these may not work and we have to shift some perspectives to engage Generation Z youth.

Hoover Zariani
Multicultural & Community Engagement Center

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry and Oliver Twist

What are you reading? My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman.

Would you recommend it? If you've read or seen the movie, A Man Called Ove, this is by the same author, and you'll like it. I enjoyed it and think it continually gets better.

What do you like or find interesting about it? The characters are quirky and great and they deepen as the novel progresses. Relationships turn out to be not what you'd expect. The love of a grandmother/granddaughter is very special.


What are you reading? Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.

Would you recommend it? I love Dickens' writing, so I think it's great, but it's very 19th century language and long; some may even say long-winded. If you've seen the movie or musical, it probably helps keep the multitude of characters straight and to have a basic idea of the plot.

What do you like or find interesting about it? I think Dickens is a great writer, but this is a rather difficult book for two reasons. First, a very likable character dies a brutal and violent death, and no matter how much you know it's going to happen, it's still awful. Second, I'm reading this for a presentation on non-Jewish novelists writing about Jews, and Dickens' description of Fagin is very hard to take... basically a criminal with few redeeming qualities. All the stereotypes are there. Ivanhoe, 10 years earlier, is also basically stereotyped, but Isaac and Rebecca save Ivanhoe in their own ways and turn out positive characters. Daniel Deronda, 40 years later, is not at all stereotyped, and George Eliot talks about the research she did to write the book.

Emily Bergman


I am reading Farewell by Sergei Kostin and Eric Raynaud.

Interesting read, if you're into that sort of espionage stuff happening during the Cold War. Reading conjures images of the Berlin Wall, a sort of romantic view of a different time when spies and international relations held more mystery.

Frankie Strong

The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins

I am reading GCC's spring 2018 One Book selection The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins by Brenda Stevenson. The GCC library has purchased an unlimited license to the digital edition of this title, and there are print copies also available in the library.

Yes - I would absolutely recommend it, as the text is interesting on so many levels! It not only deals with the cultural, societal and legal repercussions of Latasha Harlins' death, but also intertwines discussions of gender, identity, immigration, ethnicity and beyond. This is an excellent read for anyone, and we are so fortunate to have Stevenson visiting our campus to speak about her text on Tuesday, May 22 from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. in Kreider Hall.

Lara Kartalian

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

Last year, one of the best science writers around, Robert Sapolsky, came out with Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst. This spring, I'm getting around to finishing it.

This one focuses on why humans behave the way they do and what makes them tick. The author seems to take his time in between publishing books – and that's why this one is nearly as good as A Primate's Memoir. His writing is funny and comprehensible for those of us in the liberal arts. Though, his current book is a little more complex than some of his earlier works. 

Don't miss his footnotes. They're funny.

The only science author that can write in a more engaging (and lyrical) manner than Sapolsky was the late Stephen Jay Gould. 

Rory Cohen


I’m reading Transit, a book by Rachel Cusk that I think is wonderful.

Dierdre Mendoza

Many Books!

One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel García Márquez

Great to listen to (as an audio book), but still as challenging as reading it.

Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng

Interesting glimpse at suburban America and class tensions.

Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The audio version is very entertaining, but this is still a powerful commentary on race in America.

The Highly Sensitive Person – Elaine Aron

Useful and easy to read book on a select personality type who are too often overlooked or misunderstood.

Christina Tangalakis
Student Services

The March Trilogy

John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

March 1, Copyright 2013
March 2, Copyright 2015
March 3, Copyright 2016

I read these three graphic novels in a set called the March Trilogy Slipcase Edition.

John Lewis, the author, is better known as Congressman John Lewis who represents the Fifth District in Georgia. This is his personal story that is intertwined with the Civil Rights Movement and its marches of the 1960's.

These books are emotionally hard to read, but are an easy read in terms of word and concepts. I recommend these because if we forget our history, we are condemned to repeat it!

Brian Reff
Culinary Arts

White Rage

White Rage by Carol Anderson

Yes – highly recommended

This book has made me understand black history like never before. The systematic exclusion of blacks from education and the economic system is vital for any citizen to understand, to begin healing the racism, prejudices, and stereotypes against blacks.

Sabine Esmaili

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