I’d like to put my vote in - for Drew Magary’s Postmortal. I’ve been a fan of Magary’s writings for a few years now. He approaches most subjects with a dark sense of humor, a lot of passion, and a modern take on a lot of issues that speak to younger audiences without treating them like children.Submitted by Matthew A. Jackson, CSUN.
Postmortal, written in the form of a diary, takes place in the not too distant future. A cure for aging is discovered. It doesn’t make one immortal, just stops the aging process. This book calls into question issues of ethics, morality, overpopulation, mortality, the environmental effects, families, birth, marriage and interpersonal relationships. A fun read, but also really is quite thought provoking
Submitted by Kimberly Embleton
With all of the recent tragedies such as the Newtown shooting and the recent Boston Marathon bomb, “Nineteen Minutes” is a good insight on what causes people to do these sort of things. It’s a very thought provoking novel, and is written so that you see multiple sides of the story; a victim’s side, the judge’s side, even the accused’s side. I think this book will really make incoming freshmen think about what is going on in the world around us, and maybe what we can do to stop events such as Columbine and others from happening. If nothing else, it’s an engaging story that is worth the read.
Submitted by Nicole Dickson
saturday, january 19, 2013
Garbology Goes to College
Terrific news: Cal State University Northridge has selected Garbology as this fall’s common read for incoming freshmen — with the book nominated and chosen by faculty, staff and students. I’m looking forward to speaking with the 4,000 freshmen at the university convocation in September.
This is what Learning Resource Center staffer Debbi Mercado wrote in nominating Garbology:
"I think the book could result in a number of interesting campus projects and leave us all with a sense of empowerment and a desire to make some changes in our daily lives… . it provides great fodder for classroom discussions and even personal reflections about consumerism, waste, environmental issues, values, the daunting math of it all, and how we might each change our trash habits.""
We have a winner for 2013-2014: Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes (262 pp.; 2012). Faculty and staff can look forward to spring book groups and opportunities to work with colleagues on ways of teaching and discussing this terrific nonfiction text at AFYE workshops. Among the many possibilities for Garbology: a field trip to the Puente Hills Landfill; connections to CSUN majors and programs including Sustainability (the new minor), Anthropology, Business and Business Law, Environmental & Occupational Health, Political Science, Family & Consumer Sciences, Biology, Math, Economics, Music, Art, and (of course) freshman writing/Stretch Composition as well as University 100.
On a possibly related note, there will soon be a documentary about the “Landfill Harmonic”: musicians who make musical instruments out of trash in Paraguay: see http://www.treehugger.com/culture/orchestra-paraguay-makes-beautiful-music-trash.html and also http://wosu.org/2012/classical101/paraguays-recycled-orchestra-turns-trash-into-musical-treasure/.
Of interest to us at CSUN: the book has a substantial local (SoCal) focus and is considered highly teachable by selection committee members, who also talked about how it changed their perspective on trash and how its engaging style and subject surprised them: “It makes you think’; “It’s a call to action!”; “It makes us take personal responsibility for our trash in our ‘disposable society’ and requires us to consider what we too often don’t: our garbage.” Faculty are confident that it will lead to wonderful projects and assignments. Look for additional information about the book in the coming months. Or start now with this NPR story: “Following Garbage’s Long Journey around the Earth” (http://www.npr.org/2012/04/26/150735732/following-garbages-long-journey-around-the-earth)
As of November 2, 2012, we have our four finalists for CSUN’s 2013-2014 Common Reading:
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo.
Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes.
The Grace of Silence: A Family Memoir by Michele Norris.
Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight about Animals by Hal Herzog.
Read with us and share your opinion on this blog. The committee will select a winner during the second week of January.
Additional information about the nominated title Guilty Until Proven Innocent
1) This is the only book on the market that delivers the truth about supplements, antioxidants, cosmetics, green tea, red wine, hair color and sunscreens in a format understandable to the general public;
(2) There is a dire need to educate the general public which is brainwashed by the relentless commercial advertisement not telling consumers the WHOLE truth about chemicals entering their bodies;
(3) Freshmen will stay healthy by reading this book because the complex subject is made understandable to them; they will start asking the right questions and will be better positioned to make right choices about food and cosmetic products.
Given the novelty of this book and its value to the public health, it does not come as a surprise that it has gotten awards in the “Science” category from prestigious, high-profile book competitions: The USA 2011 Best Book Awards and The 2012 International Book Awards competitions.
Submitted by Harmanpreet Kaur Panesar
This is book is an absolute eye-opener in a sense that it tells the public about the truth behind the claims of food and cosmetic companies which falsely assert that they use “natural” and “safe” ingredients in their products. This book discloses the reality behind the harmful chemicals used in food products and cosmetics, which can have detrimental effects on the human body. In his book, Dr. Melikyan informs the public about what is that they are putting inside and on their bodies whether in the form of food or sunscreens, lipsticks, etc. The content in this book is truly revolutionizing and life-changing.
This book is also available at the CSUN bookstore.
Submitted by Harmanpreet Kaur Panesar
This is a fascinating historical novel based on the true story of a courageous woman, Mary Bowser. Born a slave, Mary was granted her freedom and sent to Philadelphia to be educated, and then returned to slavery to become a spy for the North by working in the Confederate White House. Issues and themes in this book are particularly relevant to University 100 but also offer insights into many topics — overcoming stereotypes, the power of education, the unknown heroes in history, parental expectations, and many more. At the same time, it is a tale of intrigue, love, and adventure. Definitely one to consider.
Submitted by Ellyn Gersh Lerner