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GC Recommends

A collection of books and book recommendations by Greensboro College faculty and staff.

GC Recommends: Spring 2021

Teaching to Transgress

Lauren Brewer, Reference and Instruction Librarian at GC, says: "Teaching to Transgress was one of the first books I read when I started in my position at GC; as a new faculty member, I felt uncertain in my teaching practices and philosophy. This book helped to contextualize my thoughts about teaching as a practice of care and freedom within existing writing and scholarship. hooks' writing is such a joy to read and provides me guidance as i teach, to this day. Especially now, as we hear the terms "grit" and "resilience" repeated, Teaching to Transgress shows us that education can be a community, where both student and instructor grow."

Orality and Literacy

Review from Sheila Nayar: Can a single book change the course of a person's professional life? Yup. That's what happened to me when, upon a casual suggestion by my mother that I might find Ong's book interesting, Orality and Literacy ended up redirecting my entire scholarly career. I have since become an orality-literacy scholar who has extended Ong's theories into the realm of visual narrative.

But Orality and Literacy is not a book merely for scholars or students. In fact, it's a text that will make anybody who is literate realize how much of who they are, what they think, and how they are even able to think is contingent upon their ability to separate themselves as knowers from what they know. Writing, as Ong will show you, is humankind's original external storage unit.

Left to Tell

Kim A. Strable says: This book was my most recent read, and the author’s memoirs of this horrific and unfathomable experience were both gut wrenching and
inspirational. While human atrocities like the Rwandan genocide are incredibly shocking and unimaginable, so are the resiliency, perseverance, courage, unwavering faith, and capacity to forgive as shared in such powerful ways. This book challenges the reader from many different perspectives but ultimately provides hope and an appreciation for miraculous faith and divine intervention. You won’t be disappointed.


Dr. Carolyn Chappell, President Czarda's spouse and faculty member recommends this memoir of one of the most authentic and ground-breaking figures of our time. Inspiring and challenging!

Where the Crawdads Sing

Recommended by GC Community Member, Eloise Stinger.


Recommended by GC community member Eloise Stinger.


David Fox says: A groundbreaking book that covers musical improvisation not as a stylistic practice(such as jazz improvisation, or blues improvisation) but, rather, from a procedural standpoint. It answers such basic questions as: What do we think about when we improvise?; How can we clear our minds of preconceptions when we improvise?; How can we truly be “in the moment?” On a personal note when i got to a place in may improvisational development that i began to tire of simply playing cliched licks I studied this book and it opened my eyes, eras, and mind to a whole new world where I viewed every improvisation as an exciting journey of sound exploration with no boundaries.

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Recommended by Dr. Lawrence Czarda, Greensboro College President.

Why Fish Don't Exist

Recommended by GC community member, Jennifer Cooper.

A Gentleman in Moscow

Recommended by GC community member, Eloise Stinger.

Emergency Sex (and Other Desperate Measures)

From Amanda Mayes: When I began teaching high school, everything was shrouded in confusion - a whirlwind of lesson planning, helicopter parents, and doubt - though moments of reward peeked through as I kept my head above water. I kept surging onward, waiting for my Dead Poets Society moment with my students clamoring to support my efforts and overwhelm me with evidence that my teaching mattered.

Wide-eyed idealism ensnares people in all professions. A gap forms between idealism and practice, and that gap is frequently bridged with pragmatism and cynicism.

I was assigned this book in a graduate level course on global human rights. Called to life of service with the United Nations, Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlewait, and Andrew Thomson had to grapple with this gap during some of the worst human rights atrocities in the past few decades. It’s poignant, personal, and raw. These stories will stick with you long after you’ve finished the book, and will help you find a way to nourish and maintain a practical idealism.

The Beauty in Breaking

Recommended by Dr. Carolyn Chappell.

Y the Last Man Book One

Recommended by Travis Mickey.

Little Family

Recommended by Jennifer Cooper.

The Rule of Four

Recommended by Dr. Lawrence Czarda, GC President.

Punching the Air

Recommended by Jennifer Cooper.

A Man Called Ove

Recommended by Dr. Lawrence Czarda.

Eloquent Rage

Recommended by Tasha Myers.

The Hidden Life of Trees

Recommended by Dr. Lawrence Czarda.

A World Lit Only by Fire

Recommended by Dr. David Fox.
A brilliant book depicting what life was like in the Middle Ages in Europe. Essential reading for anyone interested in the history of western civilization, or world history for that matter.

When Stars Are Scattered

Recommended by Jennifer Cooper.

Cultivating Delight

Recommended by Dr. Carolyn Chappell.

Under the Dome

Recommended by Dr. Natasha Veale. Dr. Veale says:
Don't let the 1074 pages fool you. Steven King has a knack for keeping your attention and those pages will just fly by! I loved it!

Born a Crime

Recommended by Jennifer Cooper.

H Is for Hawk

Recommended by Dr. Carolyn Chappell.


Recommended by Jennifer Cooper.

Educated: A Memoir

Recommended by Jennifer Cooper.

All about Love

Recommended by Tasha Myers.

The Good Body

Recommended by Tasha Myers.

Lost in Translation

Recommended by Dr. Michelle Plaisance, who writes:
This was the book that helped me to see that language is bigger than life and transcends all aspects of our being. Words matter and Hoffman explores this concept from a deeply and beautifully personal perspective. The most profound moment, to me, is when she discusses being spontaneously renamed by a Canadian teacher who found her Polish name too unpleasant and difficult to pronounce. She refers to this common practice as a "careless baptism" and reveals what a profound impact this public stripping of her cultural identity had on her educational and personal experiences. I took her message to heart and believe that it has shaped my relationship with hundreds of international students who know I care about them, and not just their academic selves- but their whole being.

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

Recommended by Tasha Myers.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Recommended by Tasha Myers.

Spring 2021 Recommendations

Fall 2021 Recommendations