Skip to content

Memoirs: Five to Fall For

October 1, 2014

As a college writing teacher, I have the responsibility to select what my students read. These writers they read then inform  their writing styles, choices, and subjects that they write about this semester –and often, influence choices that shape the rest of their lives.

I try to give my students as many choices to read as possible including short essays by Sherman Alexie, Gloria Anzaldua, Maya Angelou, Annie Dillard, Maxine Hong Kingston, Mike Rose, Amy Tan, Henry David Thoreau.  This gives me the unwieldy task of managing a class when I’m not always sure what students have read and written about. I simply place choices around a theme in front of them like a buffet for them to feast on.

Often I host a “book club” where students will choose from several books to read, discuss, present, and write about together.

This fall, I have once again chosen narratives, all except one of them very recently published, and one is new for me to teach.

The books are, in alphabetical order:

Violence Girl: A Chicana Punk Story–from East LA Rage to Hollywood Stage by Alice Bag (2011, available in the VC bookstore)

–growing up in LA in the music scene in the 70s

Boy About Town by Tony Fletcher (2013, available now in a new US 2014 edition)

–growing up in London in the music scene in the 70s

Life by the Cup by Zhena Muzyka (2014)

–broke Ojai single mom starts successful tea business; free excerpt and buy your copy here:

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (1990)

–major award-winning book captioned as “fiction” but based on the author’s experiences in Vietnam and it is the Ventura College One Book One Campus Book selection for 2014

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed (2012)

–best selling book about a woman in her 20s who hikes 1000 miles on the PCT; now a major motion picture starring Reese Witherspoon; note I walked the whole PCT and was one of the first 20 women to do so–when I read this book I spent a lot of time yelling at her stupidity

Today I will ask my students which book–

1. is their first choice to read and why,

2. their second choice to read and why

3. which one they don’t want to read and why,

4. who they’d like to work with and why

5. who they’d prefer NOT to work with

6. whether who they work with is more important than what they read.

So which of these books have you read? Which ones would you like to read? Let me know in the comments!

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 1, 2014 11:55 am

    Reblogged this on whisper down the write alley and commented:

    Here are the fall 2014 Book Club Choices for my VC students

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Taxi Talk Without Tipping

Querus Abuttu

The "Q" Review

Jack Elliott's Santa Barbara Adventure

. . .tales from one man's wanderings, regional insight and history

The magical world of wines from Grocery Outlet

The best and the worst of Gross Out.

Stephen McConnell

A Daily Journal of Fruit, Structure, Varietal honesty, and Balance.

Sonoran Images

Photography by Steven Kessel


Diary of a Wine Student

Syrah Queen

Wine, Food & Travel Resource

The Paper Plane Journey

About my passion for wine and travel

Briscoe Bites

Booze, Baking, Big Bites and More!

Mythology Matters

Matters of Myth, and Why Myth Matters

Smith-Madrone News

Good Thoughts & Great Wine from Spring Mountain, Napa Valley

Fueled by Coffee

Lifestyle, food, parenting, DYI

Bottled Bliss

Day-colored wine, night-colored wine, wine with purple feet...

Do Bianchi

Negotiating the Epistemologic Implications of Oenophilia


Global wine culture

Elizabeth Gabay MW

Wine, Food and History: from the Rhone to Piedmont

Budget Trek Kashmir

Family run Company Specialist Trekking in Jammu & Kashmir, North Indian Himalayas

Oldfield's Wanderings

Objects in blog are closer than they appear

Memorable Moments

With Lists & Adventures That Keep Life Interesting

Vinos y Pasiones

Información acerca de bodegas, vinos, gastronomía y enoturismo.

Best Tanzania Travel Guides

from Kilimanjaro to the Serengeti and beyond


The Best Guide in Tanzania

Pull That Cork

Wine makes our life more fun.

Always Ravenous

Adventures in Food and Wine

Joy of Wine

"Wine cheereth God and man." -- Judges 9:13

Side Hustle Wino

If you're not having fun, you're not doing right.

Vineyard Son Alegre

Organic Wine And Olive Oil From Santanyí, Mallorca (Spain)

L.M. Archer

wordsmith | consumer, b2b + b2c

What's in that Bottle?

Better Living Through Better Wine!


My humble wine blog


When food and wine click!

The Flavor of Grace

Helene Kremer's The Flavor of Grace

The Swirling Dervish

Wine Stories, Food Pairings, and Life Adventures


Living La Vida Vino!

Dracaena Wines

Our Wines + Your Moments = Great Memories

Gretchen L. Kelly, Author

Gretchen L. Kelly

Sonya Huber

books, essays, etc.

%d bloggers like this: