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Falcon's Bookshelf

The Lone Star College-CyFair Library book blog. Discover the great books our LSC-CyFair faculty and staff are reading!

The Falcon's Bookshelf

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December 2022 • Rachel Hugenberg, Reference Librarian

rosencrantz book coverWhich writers – novelists, playwrights, critics, journalists, poets – working today do you admire most? 
Tom Stoppard, because I love Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Talia Hibbert, for her honest discussions of romance and (dis)ability. Rupi Kaur for poetry, because it’s stunningly beautiful. Devon Price for being brave and discussing personal struggles as well as an in-depth look at how Western culture is creating an unsustainable labor culture in Laziness Does Not Exist. Anything by Sarah Vowell for history, because I love her gothic and sardonic writing style.  

Do you have a guilty pleasure book? 
Anything by Tamora Pierce or Gail Carriger. Both write such strong casts of characters and build substantial worlds that they can write within different countries and time periods in the same universe and connect characters unexpectedly. They both discuss current real- world issues, like governments, imperialism, race, gender roles, LGBTQ+ self-discovery, and more within fantasy settings that anyone can enjoy. 

Are there any classic novels you read recently for the first time?  dracula book cover
Dracula. I’d seen film spoofs and adaptations, but I borrowed it through our Libby app to read from the Manga Classics series, which is beautifully done in an illustrative gothic style.  

What book would you most like to see turned into a movie or TV series that hasn’t already been adapted? 
Since both the Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce and Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe have both been optioned, I’m just waiting on them to be ready to watch! Though it would be fun to see Terry Pratchett’s Discworld as a TV series or series of short films, but the logistics may still be beyond us.  

pumpkin queen book coverWhat book is currently sitting on your nightstand? 
My partner and I read audiobooks together to exchange favorite books. Currently, we are reading Eric Flint's 1632 (Ring of Fire series) and Roshani Chokshi’s The Star Touched Queen series. I just finished Savvy Sheldon feels Good as Hell and Long Live the Pumpkin Queen. I consistently keep up with Lore Olympus and am a huge fan of several graphic novel/comic book artists.  

What is your favorite genre? Which do you avoid? 
I’m a huge fan of romance novels - because they aren’t what people expect. Romance novels have a formula, for sure, but that allows these authors to explore interpersonal relationships and discussing challenges that people face within relationships, from (dis)ability to mental health to money to PTSD and military trauma to interracial relationships to family and legality, there is a romance novel that discusses these wonderfully and it is most often written by someone from/in that community (Talia Hibbert is an excellent example of this). It’s also a place where you can see how gender roles have changed in society and how we discuss relationship issues like consent, finances, and modernization in U.S. and abroad.  

I tend to avoid any type of slasher style horror- just as a personal preference.  

What’s the last book you read that made you laugh? furiously happy book cover
Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy or Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Also, Meichi Ng’s Barely Functional Adult and Huda Fahmy’s That Can Be Arranged and Yes, I’m Hot in This.  

What is a book that you’re afraid to read? 
Crime and Punishment, mostly because I am afraid I’d start it without being able to complete it.  Also, Don Quixote in the original Spanish, because it’s a goal of mine, but I am far, far from reaching it.  

crumbs book coverWhat do you plan to read next? 
A few graphic novels that were Webtoons and comics, so Crumbs by Danie Stirling and The Art of Pascal Campion, which he’s been publishing as philosophical Instagram shorts. I’m probably going to finish Forget the Alamo, My Old Kentucky Home (warning: this author uses period language of the time the song was written), and Deathless Divide. Probably The Witcher series.  

What is a book you dislike/hate that everyone loves? Do you remember the last time you put down a book without finishing? 
Catcher in the Rye and anything by Thomas Hardy. I never clicked with Holden as a character. As for Thomas Hardy, I’m not fond of books that spend more time talking about farm animals of the English countryside than the actual plot. The Life and Times of Prince Albert was the last that I put down and didn’t come back to- because it was mind-numbingly dull.  

Describe your ideal reading experience (when, what, where how). 
On my back patio, at my house, outside with an Arnold Palmer. If the weather is bad, then curled up on our couch under a blanket with our two cats. For audiobooks, going for a drive and picking up Sonic drinks or Starbucks.  

What’s the most interesting thing that you learned from a book recently? how to manage your home book cover
Honestly, the five-step cleaning method developed by KC Davis in How to Keep House While Drowning, and the process to a clean and organized home in How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K White. Both have their own take on cleaning and organizing. I am a bit of a messy person, so I’m trying to learn how to keep up with a house and my life at the same time! 

Do you prefer books that reach you emotionally, or intellectually? 
Both. I feel that a good author does both. I’m an omnivorous reader, both fiction and nonfiction, and the best writers have a way of touching both emotions and thought - for me, it’s two halves of the same coin.  

five dark fates book coverWhat’s the last book you read that made you furious?  
Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake, because the ending was the opposite of what the other books in the series were building up towards and it just felt like- “That’s it? This is how it ends?” For me, it was extremely anticlimactic.  

Where do you find your books? Where do you look when you’re searching for your next great read?
At work, in bookstores, through webcomics and webtoons a lot of the time for graphic novels. Booklist webinars, Instagram for comics, friends and family recommendations.