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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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December 2023 • Shamim Arastu, Professor of Education

Curious George Book CoverDo you have a guilty pleasure book?
I am not sure if this is considered a guilty pleasure book, but I enjoy reading children’s books…Curious George, Magic School Bus, Mo Willems Books. They are refreshing and simple.

What is your favorite genre?
I enjoy many genres, but I really like mystery and suspense books and books that are informational, this could be about brain science, education, food, self-help or other topics. I also enjoy reading poetry and quotes.

Which do you avoid?
I avoid history books (no offense to history lovers).

Do you remember the last time you put down a book without finishing?
Whenever I am at the airport, I pick up a book from the gift shops and start reading. Unfortunately, I have to put it away when it is time to board.

What book is currently sitting on your nightstand?nightcrawling-book-cover
Currently I am reading Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley.

40rules-book-coverWhat is the last book you recommended to everyone you know?
The 40 Rules of Love by Elif Shafak and Brene Brown’s Dare To Lead.

Describe your ideal reading experience (when, what, where, how).
My ideal reading experience would be outdoors, in a garden or out in nature elsewhere, sitting in a large comfortable chair, with just the right amount of sunlight and a gently breeze. Of course I would need my favorite sweet and salty snacks with me. I would love it if my family or friends were right there with me reading their own books.

Do you have a favorite book no one else has heard of?einsteins-dreams-book-cover
Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman

essential-rumi-book-coverWhich writers – novelists, playwrights, critics, journalists, poets – working today do you admire most?
Journalists that I respect are Shireen Abu Akleh who was one of the first Arab women reporters for Al Jazeera News. She was a pioneer and reported news from the frontlines before she was killed. Christina Amanpour is another very talented reporter/journalist that taught me about what is happening globally in a non-biased way. I enjoy learning and dissecting Urdu poetry, also called Shayari. Some poets that I really enjoy are Iqbal, Ghalib, Zara Niga, Rumi, Khalil Gibran, and Parveen Shakir. I also enjoy poems by Maya Angelou. I enjoy political commentary from individuals like Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, and John Oliver.

What’s the last book you read that made you laugh?go-back-to-where-you-came-from-book-cover
Wajahat Ali’s Go Back To Where You Came From was hilarious, on point and had me reflecting on struggles from my own experiences.

ishmael-book-coverDo you prefer books that reach you emotionally, or intellectually?
I think it depends on what I am experiencing in my life and what mood I am in. Ideally a combination of both is what I would love to read. I could be in a Tuesdays with Morrie mode or Ishmael.

What book might people be surprised to find on your bookshelf?calvin-hobbes-book-cover
Calvin and Hobbes series

Who is your favorite fictional hero or heroine?
Indiana Jones and Shuri from the Black Panther and Katniss Everdeen 

What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you the most?
I was an avid reader as a child. I loved the Magic School Bus series, Curious George, Harry Potter, and then got into Nancy Drew. I would also read science books about nature and animals.

What do you plan to read next?
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, I have been waiting for that book for the last few months.

What’s the last book you read that made you cry?
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

What’s the last book you read that made you furious?
I have not read a book that has made me furious. There are many articles and news stories that do though.

Where do you find your books?
I usually use the library on campus or use the Libby app so I can hear an audio book or read it on my phone.

Where do you look when you’re searching for your next great read?
I use the recommendations from Books Without Borders and get recommendations from friends.