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UCSB Reads 2022: Shortlist Books: Selected Resources

Additional Resources

This page is intended to provide additional resources for book clubs and individuals who are reading the books on the UCSB Reads 2022 Shortlist. These resources include book excerpts, author interviews, and discussion questions.

"Exhalation: Stories" by Ted Chiang

Additional Discussion Prompts:

Quote: “Four things do not come back: the spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life, and the neglected opportunity.”


"The Undocumented Americans" by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio


Quote: “The twisted inversion that many children of immigrants know is that, at some point, your parents become your children, and your own personal American dream becomes making sure they age and die with dignity in a country that has never wanted them.” 


Quote: “I think every immigrant in this country knows that you can eat English and digest it so well that you shit it out, and to some people, you will still not speak English.” 


"Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope" by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Additional Discussion Prompts: 

Quote: “As a fraction of GDP, the United States spends on job-training and assistance programs barely one-fifth as much as the average among industrialized countries. Moreover, the United States has significantly cut spending on these programs in recent decades, while significantly increasing spending on prisons instead.”



"The Friend: A Novel" by Sigrid Nunez

Additional Discussion Prompts:

Quote: “What we miss - what we lose and what we mourn - isn't it this that makes us who, deep down, we truly are. To say nothing of what we wanted in life but never got to have.” 



Quote: “Tempted to put too much faith in the great male mind, remember this: It looked at cats and declared them gods. It looked at women and asked, Are they human? And, once that nut had been cracked: But do they have souls?”


"The Inequality Machine: How College Divides Us" by Paul Tough


Additional Discussion Prompts:

Quote: “If you do this right, then during that period of time between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two you can arrest the damage that eighteen years of mediocre academic preparation has done to a student. If you can put somebody in the right place, in the right environment, with the right support structures, you can do wonders.”


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