The latest edition of the Rohrbach Library Newsletter is now available at:
We continued our series on favorite books in the newsletter. Faculty were asked to submit a title of their favorite book and tell us why they liked it. In addition to the ones listed in the newsletter, the following faculty submitted their choices:
Dr. Richard S. Courtney – Geography Department:
The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda (1968; Pocket Books). This book marks the beginning of one of the most influential series of books on anthropology/religion/metaphysics. Castaneda introduces the world to a Yaqui shaman named Don Juan Mateus, and proceeds to tell the story of how he became an apprentice to Don Juan. I have always found Castaneda’s books humorous, enlightening, and thought provoking. I remember talking to my father about Castaneda and Don Juan several years ago. We were discussing whether or not we believed Castaneda’s fantastic tales and if his works were indeed non-fiction. I found that I could suspend my disbelief. Don Juan was real enough to me. I think most college students will enjoy this book, though it is not constructed like a typical work of non-fiction or like a novel. One word of caution is that once you get started on the path of knowledge, you will find it particularly difficult to stop. Be prepared to want to go on to the rest of Castaneda’s books.
Dr. Dawn Slack – Modern Language Studies Department
The first two relate to work, but are so interesting, I would read and recommend for anyone: 1. Popol Vuh, (The translation by Dennis Tedlock) It’s an explanation/exploration of the Mayan book of creation. It’s very circular, but is accessable and is like a treasure chest of information about the Mayas as well as human nature. 2. Anything by Pat Mora, a US Latina writer of poetry and prose. Her novel, The House of Houses is a pseudo-biography of her and her family as she follows the generattions from Mexico to the US. Ghosts, memories are just as alive as humans.
For just fun reading, I love anything by Carl Hiassen: biting satirical humor in offbeat Florida settings; always very unique descriptions and events. James Lee Burke is also a favorite, especially his novels set in New Orleans. I eagerly await his books.