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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!

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May 2024 • Laura Taggett, Professor of English

Do you have a guilty pleasure book?
I don’t really! I am always on the lookout for new favorites. I haven’t, as far as I can remember, revisited a book in a LONG time.

What is your favorite genre?
I don’t know if I have a favorite genre, either! I enjoy historical fiction, the occasional nonfiction, the occasional romance, comedy, and horror.

Which do you avoid?
I admit that I may avoid most Sci-Fi and fantasy, just because I often struggle with the amount of world-building.

infinite jest book coverWhat is a book that you’re afraid to read?
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. It is sitting on my shelf taunting me.

What is a book you dislike/hate that everyone loves?twilight book cover
Oh, boy. I feel like this might be controversial, because I have only read bits of them, and therefore, shouldn’t have an opinion, but the Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer.

Do you remember the last time you put down a book without finishing?
It’s been ages, because when I am not liking a book, I make myself power through almost out of spite.

reformatory book coverWhat books are currently sitting on your nightstand?
The Reformatory, by Tananarive Due, American Gods, Annotated Edition by Neil Gaiman, and Mother Tongue: The Surprising History of Women’s Words, by Jenni Nuttal.

What’s the last great book you read?
The Impossible Brightness, by Jessica Bryant Klagmann. So good!

What is the last book you recommended to everyone you know?lessons in chemistry book cover
Lessons in Chemistry!!!! by Bonnie Garmus

lucky jim book coverDo you have a favorite book no one else has heard of?
Maybe Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis. I just love that, or Stones from the River, by Ursula Hegi.

Which writers – novelists, playwrights, critics, journalists, poets – working today do you admire most?
NEIL GAIMAN. Natalie Haynes, for her “humanizing” of the Greek myths.

What’s the last book you read that made you laugh?divine might book cover
Divine Might: Goddesses in Greek Myth, by Natalie Haynes.

What’s the most interesting thing that you learned from a book recently?
Starting to sound like a broken record here, but most recently, I learned this little tidbit: According to Haynes, the goddess Hera all but raised Thetis, the sea nymph mother of the hero Achilles. And yet, when Thetis came begging for protection for her son in the Iliad, she went to Zeus, even though Hera was pro-Greek!

we need to talk about keven book coverDo you prefer books that reach you emotionally, or intellectually?
Both! I am a sucker for gut-punch books (like We Need to Talk about Kevin, by Lionel Shriver) but I also love books that make me think.

What book might people be surprised to find on your bookshelf?
Gosh, I can’t think of one right now. I am probably pretty predictable.

Who is your favorite fictional hero or heroine?
Don Quixote!

Who is your favorite antihero or villain?
Richard III

What kind of reader were you as a child?
Voracious. I remember Scholastic Book fairs with such glee.

Which childhood books and authors stick with you the most?trixie belden book cover
Harriet the Spy, by Louis Fitzhugh and the Trixie Belden series by Julie Campbell! I read all of them.

Have your reading tastes changed over time?
Not really? Though my taste for nonfiction has grown.

You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite?
Oh, gosh. Neil Gaiman, Shakespeare, and Tressie McMillan Cottom. do you plan to read next?
Mother Tongue: The Surprising History of Women’s Words, by Jenni Nuttall.

What book would you most like to see turned into a movie or TV series that hasn’t already been adapted?raven boys book cover
Oh, gosh. These are always so iffy. I just read Spaceman of Bohemia, by Jaroslav Kalfar, and the movie version was so different that it should have been been “inspired by.” I know it’s a little controversial, but I think the original Hunger Games movie adaptations were pretty good. I could have sworn that the Raven Cycle books by Maggie Stiefvater were going to be a TV series? I am hopeful and nervous at the same time.

olive kitteridge book coverWhat’s the last book you read that made you cry?
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. That last line!!

What’s the last book you read that made you furious?
I did a research paper this past fall on the history of forced boarding schools for Indigenous children by the American and Canadian governments and everything I read infuriated me.

Where do you find your books? Where do you look when you’re searching for your next great read?
I look for book reviews on the Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly. Goodreads as well. Recommendations are always welcome!