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Chaparral 2017-2018: 26.1 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?


World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech

World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech by Franklin Foer

I think Everyone should read this book, especially millennials. As an adjunct, trying to educate students is becoming more difficult because they are mesmerized by the square in their hand which is sucking their brains out, just as it was planned by Big Tech.

The book talks about how the tech companies designed smart phones and social media to cause people to become addicted to them. It also addresses privacy or lack of privacy issues.

Just look around your classroom.

Jacqueline Cooper
Credit ESL

A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman 

I can't recommend this book highly enough.  My book club chose this book for September, our August book was 1984 by Orwell, and this was the perfect "pick-me-up" after that one!  If you need a book that will make you laugh and appreciate life, then I suggest taking a few hours and reading A Man Called Ove.  Simply delightful.

Beth Kronbeck
Social Sciences


I'm reading 1984 by George Orwell. I would definitely recommend it given the current events and conditions we are facing.

"Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious." - George Orwel, 1984l.

Marissa Pico

Vinegar Girl and The Worst Hard Time

Vinegar Girl by Ann Tyler

A great read

I love Ann Tyler anyway, but this is a modern take on Taming of the Shrew. She has her usual, eccentric cast of characters who you can't help but like and hope for a happy outcome.  Since I'm only halfway through, I can only imagine what's going to happen, given the book's relation to Shakespeare.

The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan

I'm really glad I was given this book to read; it's that good.

This is about the 1930s dust bowl. The book was given to me, because I am an Oklahoma native. Its current relevance is obvious; what are we doing to our environment that is ruining our ability to live here, and how is climate change affecting that environment. Much of the dust bowl was actually man-made, which I did not realize, and it was much worse and more extensive than most of us realize. The beautiful writing, for a non-fiction book, is almost poetic and very readable.

Emily Bergman
Adjunct Reference Librarian

Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf

Currently I’m reading Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf by Sean Duffy. Brian was the first Irish high king who managed to do the impossible, to unite the many diverse Irish clanns behind one leader in opposition to the waves of invasions by the Vikings in the 9th and 10th centuries. Brian and his family acquired power by copying the military tactics of the Vikings, using ships for quick surprise attacks and using the wealth of cities capture to build his army. The ultimate battle was at Clontarf, a field north of Dublin in 1014 AD in which Brian’s army and allies defeated a large force of Vikings and their Leinster allies. Brian defeated the Vikings, but he himself died in the battle, along with his heir and his grandson. The Irish victory broke the back of Viking power in Ireland, but Ireland itself was plunged into political uncertainty for decades as there was no one who could take over Brian’s role. All the more remarkable was that Brian was at least 70 years old at the battle. 

Dennis Doyle

The Hollows

The Hollows series by Kim Harrison (13 books plus a few short stories)

Would you recommend it? Yes

For those of us that are fascinated by the Harry Potter series, the Hollows gives the reader an American take on witches, elves, demons, pixies, fairies, were’s, etc and how their origins are interconnected. The 13 books take place over three years, focusing on the life of Rachel Marianna Morgan. Rachel is a witch that has overcome great preteen physical stress to become private detective. Along with her business partners Jenks, a pixy, and living vampire Ivy, they pursue truth and justice. This is a serial. That is to say, start with book one, Dead Witch Walking, and read carefully each text, as material in book 2 could show up anywhere else in the series. I read the books as released from 2004 through 2014. I am now rereading them all back to back. What a read!

John Gerz

Murder in Montparnasse

I am finishing up the Phryne Fisher mystery series written by Australian Kerry Greenwood, who is a lawyer, among other things.  You may have seen the TV productions on KCET.  There are lots of websites, and Miss Fisher has her own.

The stories take place in 1928 Melbourne. Lots of good history, and not just in OZ. Miss Fisher is intelligent, independent, self-assured, and takes nothing from anyone. A truly modern woman of her time who drives, a Hispana-Suiza, and drove an ambulance in WWI, flies a Moth, is grateful for Marie Stopes, and knows a good cocktail.

My favorite of the series is Murder in Montparnasse.

Aside from learning something new in each noel, they are great fun!

Karen Deukmejian
Noncredit ESL

Black Holes

Black Holes by T.d.N

Do you recommend it? YES!!

I wrote this book :) and it is available on Amazon :) 

Tiffany Nakawatase

Many Books!

Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout

A slow to start but soon-to-be compelling look at charting the complex, resilient relationship of a mother and daughter.  I loved it.

The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand

On Nantucket an adult group of 4 couples, their secrets, their regrets, their betrayals, and ultimately the death of two of them. Good read.

The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston

NY Times Bestseller

A tale of modern witch Bess Hawksmith, a fiercely independent woman desperate to escape her cursed history who must confront the evil which has haunted her for centuries.

Elizabeth Barrett
Student Services

Womankind magazine

I'm reading Womankind magazine. Just subscribed to it. LOVE it! A woman's magazine but not about politics or domestic kind of things. Every woman I have shown it to has asked for a copy of the subscription card. It is not only great reading, but a work of art in itself. This issue devoted to "Women Who Run with the Wolves." The magazine comes from Australia.

Terry Bailey
WEB Design and Digital Illustration

Many Books!

Cats on the Job:  50 Fabulous Cats who Purr, Mouse, and even Sing for Their Supper
Author:  Lisa Rogak
Publisher:  Thomas Dunne Books, St Martin's Griffin, 2015
This book is a fun and easy read!  If you have children, they will enjoy reading it or having you read it to them.  If you are a cat lover, you will enjoy this book! I bought this bought because I met one of the cats in the book.  I met the cat because over the summer I went to Vavstuga in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.

An American Proceeding:  Building the Grant House with Frank LLoyd Wright
Author:  Donna Grant Reilly.
Publisher: Meadowside Press, 2010
This book is a very good read; it’s basically a family history of the Douglas Grant family.  It is relatively easy to read and is very interesting.  My reading of this book stemmed from a discussion with my uncle of Frank Lloyd Wright's 150th Birthday, and planning my summer vacation.  I ended up buying the book for my uncle's birthday, getting the book dedicated and autographed for him, and then finally visiting the Grant House and taking a tour with one of the people who helped build the house.

The Apache Wars
The Hunt For Geronimo, The Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History
Author: Paul Andrew Hutton
Publisher:  Broadway Books, 2016
This book is a very interesting and informative read.  If you are into Western American History and/or American Indians, you will probably enjoy this book.


Brian Reff
Culinary Arts

Where’d You Go Bernadette

I recommend Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple.

This book about an eccentric female architect and her family became a national bestseller after its paperback release in 2013. Semple is a former TV writer, and the high entertainment value is led by a sing-songy narrative voice and a semi-absurd tone. What sets it apart is the format which is a series of emails, letters and other documents that play into the novel's high concept. This is a lighthearted literary read that I was thrilled to find in my Free Little Library.

Gabrielle Mitchell-Marell

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